Does the world really need another roast chicken recipe? Especially on the heels of Thanksgiving and the chicken’s famous cousin, the turkey? Once you try this recipe, your answer will be yes.
My classic go-to recipe for roast chicken might even be replaced by this recipe, developed by one of my favorite food writers, David Tanis for Bon Appetit. I didn’t have all the ingredients but even so, the meat is succulent and moist and so full of flavor that groaning at the first bite is inevitable. Jazz things up with Tanis’ addition of crispy potatoes, or go the lazy girl route (my favorite highway) and just mash some red potatoes and call it a day.
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 4-5 pound whole chickens
- 2 bunches fresh thyme or rosemary
- Head of garlic, cut in half
- Prepare the chicken: remove the giblets and wash the chicken inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels, then set in a shallow dish.
- Combine the garlic, salt, olive oil and smoked paprika in a small bowl, mixing to form a paste. Smear the paste all over the outside of the chicken. Stuff the herbs and garlic halves into the cavity of the chicken. Lightly cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator one hour before roasting. Preheat the oven to 500° - if your oven is anything like mine, this will also require an hour.
- Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan or large cast iron skillet. Roast at 500° for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 425° and continue roasting for 20 to 30 minutes more, until the internal temperature reads at least 160°. Let rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving.