Chicken roasted in a cast-iron pan. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Roast chicken is a symbol, an emblem of easy exquisite home cooking, of cooking together. And really satisfying, nourishing food. The world is better on days when we roast a chicken for our family, friends (and lovers, of course—the best roast chicken of all). Which is why I’m posting another shot of one of our roast chickens. With hope.

I’m cooking for a band of sailors prone to shouting “FUCK OFF!” at one another and then laughing uproariously. No roast chicken for them. Steak, lobster, pulled pork, and duck cooked in duck fat. (I cheated a bit by ordering these amazing ones from D’Artagnan; leftovers will become duck rillettes tonight; I have to get some work done, after all.)

No better crowd to cook for, than these hearty blokes.

…Ah, Key West…

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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14 Wonderful responses to “Roasted Chicken”

  • Lisa

    i love roast chicken! but I have not had much success with high temp roasting. I can try again… Thanks..

  • Natalie B

    Love your roast chicken method Michael. I tried it after reading ruhlman’s twenty and was very impressed with how moist the meat was! My only issue was the smoking but my convection button helped with that.

  • Kathy

    Roasted chicken is the best thing ever. I’ve actually got a chicken carcass and a bunch of veggies and herbs in my slow-cooker right now, making stock, and the house smells AMAZING.

  • Leslie D.

    I love Roast Chicken and Key West! Check out the Live Bait Lounge at Key West Bait and tackle shop…….great place for bait and a cool drink! If your timing is right a whole hog will be in their Caja China!

  • Mike

    How ironic on you listing your Schmaltz app as I was just looking at the shopping list for the Potato Kugel!

  • Weiss

    I finally got around to using your perfect roast chicken recipe a couple of weeks ago! No cast iron pan, and it was actually my first roast chicken ever. It was still perfect :) thank you.

  • Terry

    Tried an experiment last week marinading a chicken for 24 hours in buttermilk…then rinsing thoroughly…seasoning, trussing and roasting as usual. The meat was exceptionally tender and moist with none of the “flabbiness” that can come with over-brining. Only caveat is that this tends to cause the bird to brown more quickly.

  • Tags

    The Charlie Rose show recently had a clip show called “Great Food and Great Chefs,” and during the Thomas Keller segment he asked Keller what his favorite food was, and his reply was “roast chicken.” Charlie said, “Mine, too.”

  • Rachel

    I make your high-temperature roast chicken (with just a healthy dose of salt on it, like you suggested) all the time, then serve it with a whole-grain mustard dipping sauce I make from the drippings. It is one of my absolute favorites, both becaues my husband practically licks his plate he likes it so much, and because I can make three quarts of delicious stock from the carcass. It’s a great cheap, delicious, easy meal.

  • Pat Barnes

    Love a simple roast chicken! I did one the other day and used Jaque Pepein’s method from “Essential Pepin”. 425 oven. Lay the chicken on one side(thigh/leg area) and roast for 20 min. Then other side for 20 min. Finally on back and finish for 20 min. These tiems are for a 3-1/2 lb. chicken. Mine was 5+ so I went 22-22 and 25 on time and let it rest for a while. Best I ever made/ate.

  • Kathy

    I’d had a bad day, I was exhausted, and all I wanted was…. roast chicken! Two days ago I had my first go at your recipe from Ruhlman’s 20 – cast iron pan and all ( I even watched the trussing video). Perfect.

  • goober

    Use the old broiler pan to avoid smoke when roasting high heat chicken. Line the pan with foil, then fill it with oiled and seasoned slices of potatoes and onions. The drippings from the bird up top fall on the veggies and do not burn. The veggies are a great side, and the extra drippings can be poured off to make killer gravy.

    I came up with this myself. You are welcome.