I remember, ruefully, an adolescent epiphany realized much too late: that the skin of a roasted chicken is some sort of savory candy. For years, I’d forfeited, unawares, the crunchy exterior, blinded by a flesh-driven tunnel vision that took me straight to a juicy thigh, a tender breast. In no way was I losing out—the meat of a well-roasted roasted chicken is no consolation prize—but in my haste I was misguided. Herein lies the beauty and magic of a roast chicken: there is always a new way to enjoy it, a new part that deserves appreciation.
Taste aside, there’s something quite romantic about a roasted chicken. It’s rustic and refined, equal parts primal and prim; the whimsy of a whole bird in the oven. As a meal a roast chicken is plentiful, it can serve many at once, or one for many days. I like to shred my roast chicken into a creamy salad for sandwiches and afternoon snacks, roast and boil the bones for a caramel-colored stock, and stir strings of meat into a sumptuous tortilla soup.
Don't be a stranger to the roast chicken this fall. Think about novel combinations of herbs and spices and pastes to take the bird in direction you wish—just don’t forget the crispy bits.
How do you roast your chicken? Let us know your go-to recipe in the comments.