A whole chicken, golden-brown fried in the oven, is one of those magical dishes that lighten the mood, go with everything and taste good to everyone. All the more great that it becomes particularly delicious with minimal effort.
Anyone who spends time in the kitchen (and maybe even likes to) needs a “magic recipe”.
A recipe that you always succeed in, that just tastes good and that just always fits: whether as a main course for a set dinner with several courses, as an uncomplicated highlight on a lazy Sunday or even on a picnic blanket on a warm evening.
A dish you fall back on when the mood is bad or inspiration is at a low because you know: at least this will succeed. And that on good days lifts the mood even more because you are thankful for everything you have – including the ability to bring this delicious food to the table.
It is even better if this dish is all that, but at the same time so simple that you do not need to consult a recipe book, use special tools, or chase after any obscure and possibly expensive ingredient.
This recipe here also depends on one ingredient: the chicken. If you don’t have one, you have to cook something else.
But if you have secured the bird, ideally from a poultry farmer whose methods you trust, you only need three additional ingredients for success: salt, pepper and butter.
That’s it. Everything else – one or two sprigs of thyme, a little lemon zest or even a whole lemon that ends up in the belly of the chicken, for example – is also wonderful, but just not decisive at all.
The finished chicken is compatible with just about any side dish under the sun – so if you feel like it, you can let off steam creatively.
If you can’t think of anything right now, you’re never wrong with roasted potatoes and buttered carrots with a knife point of cumin.
Or with a simple green salad, a fresh baguette and a bottle of cool white wine. I’m still putting a glass of granular mustard on the table.
- 1 ready-to-cook roast chicken (approx. 1.3 kg)
- 1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 80 g butter
- Optional: 2-3 sprigs of thyme, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 untreated lemon, fennel seeds
- Preheat the oven to 220 ° C. Pat the chicken very carefully with kitchen paper – inside and outside. The drier the surface, the less steam is generated when roasting. This is important for particularly crispy skin.
- Generously salt and pepper the chicken from the inside. If you want to use thyme, lemon, garlic or all three, put the aromatics in the chicken belly now.
Tips: Your chicken will cook particularly evenly if you dress it before roasting – this means tying the wings and thighs together so that they do not protrude so far from the body. To do this, place the chicken breast-up on a piece of kitchen thread * approx. 1 meter long. Now slide the wings under the back of the chicken and pull the yarn across the wings from below. Then cross the ends of the yarn under the chicken (as with a package) and guide it towards the clubs. Wrap the yarn around the ends of the legs, pull the legs together and knot the yarn tightly.
- Now salt your chicken from the outside: US chef Daniel Keller recommends that the salt “rain” on the roast from a distance of approx. 30 cm from above. You need about 1 tablespoon of sea salt flakes, or ½ tablespoon of fine salt. Pepper lightly. If you want to use fennel seeds, lightly pound them in the mortar and sprinkle them with the pepper over the chicken.
- Place the chicken breast up in an ovenproof pan or roasting pan. Place a piece of butter in the middle of each breast. Fry in the hot oven for 50-60 minutes. The chicken skin should now be crispy and bronze.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and do a cooking test: use a wooden stick to prick the meat between the leg and the body. When the juice is clear, the meat is cooked through. If it is pink, however, put your chicken in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board, brush with gravy and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Then remove the kitchen twine and cut up the chicken. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with more gravy.