No matter the occasion or the experience level of the cook, roast chicken is always impressive—and it is, for me, always home food. I'd never order roast chicken at a restaurant, no matter how perfect I know it'll be, because I associate it so much with the gentle hummings of the kitchen and the inimitable comforts of domesticity. Which means: at my own table, with my own things. My own chicken.
This roast chicken recipe has gone through many iterations over the years, ever since my first attempt at 20 years old, flipping through the chewy language of Nigella Lawson's How to Eat in my tiny Manhattan kitchenette, with a gas oven that somehow undercooked and burned everything at once. Tweaked according to my current tastes (now with carrots, red onions, and croutons instead of potatoes and garlic, with flaky sea salt and black pepper instead of the cumin and cinnamon I once adored), my bird today is simple and straightforward.
The feat of pulling a perfect roast chicken out of the oven has always felt like a celebration of my independence and a testament to my self-sufficiency. Indelible proof that if I can do this, then I can do anything. In the name of sologamy, then, it only makes sense that I call this recipe Engagement Roast Chicken. It's a commitment to the person I love most: me. —Eric Kim
Test Kitchen Notes
Featured in: Engagement Roast Chicken for When You're Getting Married (to Yourself). —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Serves 1 (for dinner, plus a couple lunches)
carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces on the bias
medium red onion, thickly sliced
olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the chicken
Flaky sea salt, to taste, plus 2 teaspoons for the chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
(3- to 3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
lemon, halved, divided
garlic clove, finely grated
anchovy paste, or 1 to 2 anchovy fillets, smashed to smithereens with a fork
malt vinegar (or any of your choice)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of sugar
sourdough bread, crusts removed and torn into bite-size pieces
fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a quarter sheet pan (the best vessel for crisping up a roast chicken), toss together the carrots, red onion, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. (Don't go too heavy on the seasoning here, as this is getting dressed in a vinaigrette later.)
- Perch the chicken on top of the vegetables, rubbing it with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and seasoning all sides (top, bottom, and inside cavity) with the 2 teaspoons salt and a very generous grinding of black pepper. Stuff the cavity with one of the lemon halves.
- Roast the chicken for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the thigh meat reaches 165°F. (Another trick is to just multiply the weight of your chicken by 15; in other words, go for about 15 minutes per pound.)
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and the zest and juice of the other lemon half, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Once the chicken is done roasting, remove the pan from the oven and carefully, with two forks, set the bird onto a wooden cutting board to rest for 10 minutes at least. Throw the roasted carrots and onions, along with all of the pan juices, into the bowl with the anchovy vinaigrette.
- Place the bread pieces onto the sheet pan you've just emptied and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy. Throw into the salad bowl, along with the chopped parsley, and toss.
- Meanwhile, the chicken should have rested just the right amount of time. Carve it and plate a portion for yourself alongside some of the panzanella. Turn the chicken over and eat the two oysters before heading over to the television with your roast chicken dinner.
- Note: Store the rest of the chicken and panzanella in the fridge to eat throughout the week. (Don’t forget to save the carcass for stock later.)