From the Photo Archive: Bird is the Word
The things I love about Mark Bittman’s simple roast chicken recipes are that they are relatively quick and easy, and they produce a nicely browned and juicy roasted chicken. While this batch was made with thyme, you can make these birds in a number of different ways (as illustrated in his recipe updated for How to Cook Everything’s 10th anniversary edition). I prefer to use the older recipe below since I do not own a cast iron skillet and I don’t want to test the lone skillet I have in the oven.
Simple Roast Chicken
from: How to Cook Everything (1998)
- 1 whole (3‐ to 4‐pound) chicken, trimmed of excess fat, then rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, or sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh herbs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
- Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Begin roasting. Mix together the olive oil, herb, salt, and pepper.
- After the chicken has roasted for about 20 minute, spoon some of the olive oil mixture over it; baste every few minutes. When the bird begins to brown, turn the heat down to 325ºF, baste again, and roast until an instant‐read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160º to 165ºF. Total roasting time will be under an hour.
- Before removing the chicken from the pan, tip the pan to let the juices from the bird’s cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook another 5 minutes). Remove the bird to a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes. While it is resting, pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup, and pour or spoon off as much of the fat as you can. Reheat the juice, carve the bird, garnish, and serve with the pan juices.
And so we get to the end… A close look at the drumstick and thigh:
…nicely browned and ready to nom after a good rest…