Dear Thomas Keller,
Your roasted chicken on a bed of root vegetables completely turned my day around. Your recipe created the perfect chicken. The meat was tender and juicy while the skin was crispy and salty. Oh and the root vegetables! The thyme and seasonings married with the drippings to create this oh so flavorful liquor for the vegetables to marinate in as they slowly roasted. The end result was pure bliss. I was deeply torn on if my last bite should be the chicken, the skin or the crispy potato. (I inevitably decided on all three in one bite.)
Thank you for your tip of letting the chicken sit uncovered in the fridge for 24-48 hours to allow the skin to dry out and thus aid in the crisping process. I also appreciated the advice to let the chicken sit for an 1 1/2-2 hours to get to room temperature prior to roasting, it really did help the chicken cook evenly.
All in all, bravo, once again for providing us with an amazing cookbook. I am just sad I didn’t add it to my library earlier.
your biggest fan
Whole Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Root Vegetables
from the Ad Hoc Cookbook:
One 4 to 4 1/2 lb chicken
Salt and pepper
6 thyme sprigs
2 large leeks
2 tennis ball sized turnips
3 tennis ball sized rutabagas
4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut in half
8 small red skinned potatoes
1/3 c oil
4 T unsalted butter, at room temp
Remove the chicken from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 475
Remove the neck and innards of chicken. Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper, and 5 sprigs of thyme and massage the inside of the bird to infuse it with flavors. Truss the chicken.
Cut all of your vegetables in chunks. You want them to be substantial but not too big where they don’t cook evenly. Combine all of the vegetables and the thyme sprig in a large bowl. Toss with 1/4 c of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in the large cast iron-skillet or a roasting pan.
Rub the remaining oil all over the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper.
Make the nest in the center of the vegetables and nestle the chicken in. Cut the butter into 4 or 5 pieces and place over the chicken breast.
Put the chicken in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven to 400 and roast for an additional 45 minutes or until the temperature registers 160 in the meatiest portions of the bird. If necessary, return the bird to the oven for more roasting, check it every 5 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest 20 minutes prior to carving. Then…MMMMMMMMMMM