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“Place chicken on a bed of the vegetables in a cast iron pan or use a regular roasting pan if you don’t have a cast iron pan.”
You can get two Lodge skillets – a 10 inch and a 12 inch – for fifty bucks.
I’ve done chicken with potatoes/carrot/onions/brussels sprouts/garlic a million times but this is the first time I ever cooked with a turnip. I actually had to google how to peel it. Simple…use a vegetable peeler, just like with the carrot. I initially thought it would be layered like an onion. Duh!
Anyway, tremendous experience…great texture and flavor. I’m hooked. I read up on turnips and was glad to learn about the high fiber and high vitamin C content. I’m a little obsessed with digestion and the health of my gut so it’s good to have another menu item to work with.
Some notes…I didn’t do a whole bird. Instead I started with three leg quarters and separated the legs from the thighs. Cooking times and temps were the same, the only adjustment is that I flipped the legs for the last 20-25 minutes to get some color on the underside and I did a little basting with pan juices.
I’am addicted to this recipe! It’s simply delicious!
THANK YOU!!! The skin was delicious. Just believably delicious. And I kept dipping bread into the fat that had cooked of the chicken. I just couldn’t get enough. And the meat? Perfect!
Thomas Keller’s chicken is not cooked on a bed of vegetables. The veggies would add steam to the oven as they cook changing the effect.
Hi Erin, this recipe is from Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home book, in which the chicken is indeed roasted on a bed of root vegetables in a cast iron pan.
You tell em, Elise!
Why doesn’t my chicken look as good?
Start with air chilled chicken and/or salt the bird and leave it in the fridge uncovered for a day. That will remove some of the water from the bird and will give the skin a crispier texture. Also, be sure your initial temp is 475 and let the oven fully pre-heat.
Also, 4.5 pounds is a really big bird. Start at 3 to 3.5 pounds, or just use legs and thighs and cut back on the veggies.
I made this last week, and it was the best chicken that I had ever tasted, let alone made!
This recipe is fantastic! The tying instructions were really easy, and there’s so little prep! The vegetables and chicken come out really really good.
Thomas Keller is brilliant. This recipe is so adaptable to what you have.I used a cut-up kosher free range chicken, prepared it to step two and let it sit overnight. Today I brought it back to room temp added fresh rosemary (habitual) and French thyme from the back yard, oiled it, buttered it and an hour and ten minutes later-plus resting time- the best chicken that I have ever managed to produce!
Happy pre-valentines to us!
Do you think it would be possible to brine a chicken before using this recipe? Brine it overnight, perhaps, and then let it sit in the fridge for a day?
Keller’s roast chicken is perfectly wonderful without needing a brine. But if you want to try brining it, by all means go for it. Please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
I have made this wonderful recipe with both brined and plain chicken and enjoyed it very much both ways!
I have made the other Thomas Keller recipe mentioned above and it is amazing. I will try this one to compare.
I found this post looking for Thomas Keller turkey recipe… anyone know of one?
Parts of this recipe did not work out very well for us. While the vegetables turned out nicely, the chicken was a bit of a disaster. After the suggested bake time, the inside of our chicken was still pink. We had to roast an additional hour.
I made this recipe tonight and it turned out beautifully! I’ve never roasted a whole chicken before, but this was not at all difficult. The skin was crisp and gorgeously golden, the meat was by far the juiciest I have ever tasted, and the vegetables…(swoon), WOW. So glad my chef brother gave me a roasting pan for Christmas this year!
This is my new favorite way to cook a chicken! I had everything in the pantry except the rutabagas, so just skipped them. Thrilled to say that everything came from local farms, right down to the thyme and garlic :) ONE QUESTION: the recipe calls for a thigh temp of 160…all of my poultry guides, including my meat thermometer, call for 180…is 160 really safe? I left my bird in longer and it did seem drier than when I have cooked it longer at lower oven temps, but at least it felt safer!
Yes, it’s safe, assuming that you have an accurate meat thermometer. The USDA now recommends an internal temperature of 165°F for poultry. If you have been cooking this chicken in a 400°F oven, when you take the bird out of the oven, the internal temperature will continue to rise at least another 5 degrees. ~Elise
Elise, thank you so much for this recipe! It was fun to make and kind of an adventure since I’d never had a rutabaga before! It was delicious and impressive. Thanks again.
We just got a lovely pastured chicken from a local farmer, so it seemed like the perfect occasion to try this recipe. It came out beautifully; we could have browned the skin even more but it was still golden and crispy. I love roasting the vegetables in the pan beneath.
We changed the mix of the veggies a little, using chioggia beets, baby cauliflower, cremini mushrooms, and spring onions as well as rutabega and leek. And in my er springtime exuberance I got more vegetables than could fit into our skillet, so we also also roasted another whole pan of veggies alongside the chicken.
Absolutely the best roast chicken I have ever made. The vegetables were delicious too. I was wondering if this method could be adapted to roasting a small turkey…about 14 lbs. or so?
What would the cooking time differences be, if it could be done?
Thank you for the recipe and for a response (in advance).
Great question. No idea. If you experiment with this, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise
If you are going to do a Turkey, I would offer the suggestion to have your butcher split the turkey in half for you, and then roast the halves. Would make the cook time more similar to the chicken time, and less likely to dry out the turkey and over cook the veggies.
I roast my whole turkeys stuffed with – and sitting – on root veggies much like the above; but I also herb-butter rub the turkey, and keep it covered to prevent it drying out.
A split turkey seems more amenable to Keller’s roast chicken method.
Sounds like an interesting experiment!
I just want to chime in & say Keller’s Simple Roast Chicken (Epicurious link above) is the only way I roast chickens now. Sure it sometimes sets off the smoke alarm, but once we followed someone’s trick of setting the chicken on sliced onions, we haven’t set it off again. After I bring home the chicken (we are so lucky to have a local stand that gets chickens, eggs & rabbits from the Amish,) I dry it and salt it thoroughly and stick it in the fridge uncovered until we’re ready to cook, and then bring it to room temp and pat dry before roasting. So good! I can eat that once a week. We also get a small one, 3 or 3.5 pounds. Sometimes we roast two.
This is a delicious roast chicken recipe and I loved doing the whole thing in the cast iron pan. Thanks for posting it. We liked it so much my boyfriend surprised me and ordered the cookbook today!
All I can say is wow! Not only does this dish taste great, it presents well also. Thanks for the great recipe.
Great recipe-thank you! I usually make my chicken “zuni-style” so I combined the Keller technique above (notably the air drying and the bed of root veggies) with the zuni method of high heat and a dry cast iron pan. The chicken was juicy, the skin crisp and the vegetables delicious. I did not add any oil to the vegetables before or after I put them in the hot cast iron skillet and instead just let the fat from the chicken provide the needed moisture. Delicious and easy-my new, ‘go-to’ method.