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Roast chickens are a lot like relationships |

Food and Leisure

Roast chickens are a lot like relationships

COME FRY WITH ME - Johanna Garcia - The Philippine Star

Call me crazy but a good roast chicken is love. In fact, roast chickens are a lot like relationships. The best ones are hot, tender, healthy and comforting, yet slightly wicked (hello, sinfully good skin!).

And roast chicken recipes, like relationships, come in endless variations. Some are complicated. Others need a watchful eye and lots of tending. Then, there are those that are a bit of a letdown — overdone, underdone, too bland, too spicy (and not in a good way).

I’ve tried a lot of roast chicken recipes in the past and will probably keep trying new ones in the future. What can I say? I’m a roast chicken recipe ho: faithless, fickle and always wondering if there’s something better out there.

That said, my latest favorite is also the easiest and simplest roast chicken recipe I’ve ever tried. A minimum of ingredients and effort, but the results are Hollywood movie-worthy: crisp, golden-brown skin covering succulent, juicy and perfectly done breasts and thighs. Talk about a happy ending.

It’s a recipe adapted from Thomas Keller of Bouchon fame, as well as the iconic Zuni Café cookbook. In fact, it’s so simple it can hardly be called a recipe. Salt, pepper, high heat, done.

All my other roast chicken recipes have been so much more complicated. Brine, marinate, season, baste, turn, cover, uncover, start out really hot and then inevitably cool down. Could it really be this easy?

I was skeptical at first, half-convinced I would end up with bloody but blackened chicken, not to mention a bad case of smoke inhalation. But I decided to trust the universe (and Thomas Keller) and throw caution to the wind.

And boy, am I glad I did, because this roast chicken is a keeper. It’s nice and easy, straightforward and uncomplicated, comfortable in its own crackly skin. In fact, who knows? This roast chicken recipe could be The One.

Make it for dinner and prepare to impress. Best of all, you’ll have much more time on your hands to, well, do way more fun stuff with your hands.

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The author is the owner of Real Girl Toy Kitchen Foods. Visit or send an email to for any questions, comments or suggestions.


Recipe File




1 1.2 to 1.4 kg chicken, preferably premium

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

Cracked black pepper to taste


Take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before cooking. 

Preheat the oven to 450C and place a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) or a roasting pan in the oven.

Use paper towels to thoroughly wipe the chicken dry (including the cavity, which should be empty). The secret to this chicken is making sure it’s at room temperature and completely moisture free.

Cut the wing tips off (or they’ll burn). Tuck in the chicken’s wings and legs so that the chicken is compact. If you can’t find an existing hole in the fat flaps for the chicken legs, cut open 2 small slits on the fat flaps just outside the bottom cavity. Push one leg through the slit on the opposite side, and then do the same with the other leg.

Salt and pepper the chicken liberally and place breast side up on a rack in the skillet or pan. Return to oven. 

Roast for 50-60 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown. Do not open the oven at all during this time. Opening the oven will reduce the high heat, which is essential to the success of the recipe.

Take the skillet/pan out and transfer the chicken to a platter. Let rest for 15 minutes. Pour pan juices from the skillet on the chicken just before serving or serve on the side for dipping. Personally, I prefer to do the latter so that the skin stays crisp.



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