America’s Test Kitchen: Weeknight Roast Chicken

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To celebrate 20 years of the most-watched cooking show on public television, America’s Test Kitchen fans around the country voted for their all-time favorite recipes from the series. The results are presented in the America’s Test Kitchen 20th Anniversary Special, as cast members including Bridget Lancaster, Julia Collin Davison, Jack Bishop and Adam Ried count down the series’ 20 most popular recipes and look back on moments from the show’s two decades on air.

 

America’s Test Kitchen 20th Anniversary Special airs Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm, Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm and Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

 

Enjoy this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen 20th Anniversary Special.

Weeknight Roast Chicken
SERVES 4

Roast chicken is often described as a simple dish, and it is, at least in terms of flavor—when the dish is made properly, the rich flavor and juicy meat of the chicken need little adornment. But the actual process of preparing and roasting chicken is anything but simple; recipes often call for complicated trussing techniques and for rotating the bird multiple times during cooking. And the most time-consuming part is salting or brining the bird, a step that ensures juiciness and well-seasoned meat. After systematically testing the various components and steps of a typical recipe, we found we could just tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath. We also discovered we could skip both the V-rack and flipping the chicken by using a preheated skillet and placing the chicken breast side up; this method gave the thighs a jump-start on cooking.Starting the chicken in a 450-degree oven and then turning the oven off while the chicken finished cooking slowed the evaporation of juices, ensuring moist, tender meat.

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (3½-to 4-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 recipe pan sauce (optional)

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 12-inch oven safe skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salt and pepper in bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub entire surface with oil. Sprinkle evenly all over with salt mixture and rub in mixture with hands to coat evenly. Tie legs together with twine and tuck wing tips behind back.
  2. Transfer chicken, breast side up, to preheated skillet in oven. Roast chicken until breasts register 120 degrees and thighs register 135 degrees, 25 to35 minutes. Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. While chicken rests, prepare pan sauce, if using. Carve chicken and serve

Photo Credit: Carl Tremblay