Between you and me, putting a salted bird in a heavy-duty pan and popping the pan into a really hot oven is almost too simple to be called a technique, but one of the most frequently asked question I get is, “How do I roast a chicken?” So, it must be a technique!

In Le Creuset’s third giveaway (ten awesome roasting pans—for chicken, potatoes, brownies, cornbread, just about anything!), we’re roasting. We roast a chicken in this pan because it has low sides, allowing great circulation for the moist bird, and because we can put it on the stovetop to make the sauce after we’ve cooked the bird.

How to roast a chicken:

  1. Either truss or stuff the bird (with a lemon or onion) so that hot air circulating inside the cavity doesn’t overcook the breast.
  2. Put plenty of kosher salt all over the bird so that it’s got a nice crust of salt.
  3. Put it into a really hot oven (450°F if you have a clean oven and/or a hood, 425°F if you don’t) for one hour.
  4. Remove it from the pan to a cutting board and let it sit there for at least 15 minutes, while you finish the rest of the dinner.

That’s it. If it’s the weekend and just the two of you, I recommend this recipe. Even during the week I make a quick sauce of a half onion and one carrot, just as I do in the video. (What the video doesn’t show is letting those veg get brown by cooking off all the liquid in the pan, first the wine and then the water and then more water—the full process shots are in Ruhlman’s Twenty.)

Save the carcass to make overnight stock for a midweek sauce.

I wanted to work with Le Creuset because they make probably the best cookware on the planet. Here are the details on my participation and their generous giveaways. The fact is this: if you’re an amazing cook, you can make amazing food with just about anything, but you’ve got to be an amazing cook to make great food with cheap pots and pans. When you have good tools, not only is the food better to eat, the cooking is more fun. Crappy cookware can make the best of us feel like inept and disappointing cooks. Good cookware like these second-to-none Le Creuset pans make your food better. Period.

Chicken with Rustic Sauce


  • One 3- or 4-pound chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon and/or 1 medium onion, quartered (optional)

Rustic Sauce:

  • 1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
  1. An hour before cooking the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and rinse it. Cut off the wing tips and add them, along with the neck if you have it, to the pan in which you will roast the bird (you can also tuck the wings underneath the bird). Truss it or stuff it with the lemon and/or onion. Salt the chicken and set it on a paper towel–lined plate.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F/232°C. Set the oven on convection if that is an option.
  3. Put the chicken in the roasting pan and slide it into the hot oven.
  4. After an hour, check the color of the juices. If they run red, return the chicken to the oven and check again in 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving it.
  5. To make the sauce, remove the chicken from the pan to a carving board, ideally one that will catch the juices. Allow any skin that touches the pan to remain. Place the pan over high heat and cook the skin for a minute. The juices will cook down and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour off all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Add the onion and carrot, and stir with a flat-edged spoon. Cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the caramelized bits. Cook all the wine off (the fat will begin to crackle). Continue to cook until the onion and carrot are caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot water to deglaze the pan again, and let the water cook down completely. When the crackling begins, stir the onion and carrot until they become nicely caramelized. Add another cup of hot water and cook until reduced by about two-thirds.
  7. While the sauce is reducing, separate the legs from the chicken. You can add any juices that have accumulated on the carving board to the pan sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon and the mustard if you wish. Carve the chicken and arrange it on plates. Holding back the solids in the pan, pour the sauce over the chicken, or spoon it over.

Serves 4

This weeks events are:

Le Creuset Store Appearance
Legacy Village
Lyndhurst, OH

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Food Writer and Cleveland Heights resident Michael Ruhlman will give a short talk and presentation on his latest book Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto at a free Meet and Greet at the Le Creuset Signature Store at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, Ohio, on November 8 at 6pm. Michael Ruhlman describes his new book as “the exploration of a single idea: that all of cooking can be reduced to a handful of techniques.” Complimentary copies of the book (a $40 value) will be given to all attendees who make a cast iron purchase of $250 or more on November 8 (while supplies last). Michael Ruhlman is currently the host of The Le Creuset Technique Series, a series of how-to videos that can be accessed for free at

The Meet and Greet will feature light refreshments and an opportunity to hear from the acclaimed food writer and “Iron Chef America” judge. Space is limited, so please call the store at 216.291.8795 to reserve a space.


Bacon Curing Demo at Fabulous Food Show
Expo Center
Cleveland, OH

Friday, November 9

Esteemed author and Cleveland resident Michael Ruhlman will demonstrate “How to cure and cook bacon” in our Culinary Celebration Theatre on Friday, November 9, at 5:45 p.m. “Meet and Greet” Michael immediately following this presentation to discuss his latest works, including Salumi and Ruhlman’s Twenty.

Purchase tickets here.

Other links you may like:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.