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Simple Roast Chicken

Ready in 2 hours

Serves 2-4 people

Recipe from Epicurious, adapted by Melanie Boldt


One Pine View Farms whole chicken (4-8 lb.), (plan on 1 lb. of bird per person)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. minced thyme (optional)

Unsalted butter

Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
  3. Salt and pepper the cavity of the chicken
  4. Salt the outside of the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 Tbsp.). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
  5. Place the chicken breast side up in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don’t baste it, I don’t add butter; you can if you wish, but if you start with a good bird, you shouldn't have to!
  6.  Roast it until it’s done, 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the size of bird. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the pan juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board prior to carving.
  7. To cut up a chicken: Cut the wings off at the joint where they join the body. Cut the legs (thigh and drumstick) off. Cut between the joint of the thigh and drumstick to separate. Run a knife down each side of the breast bone and ease the breast off. Slice the breast across the grain. Put all of this on a platter. You'll be left with the carcass with neck attached. Save that for making broth the next day.
  8. The preparation is not meant to be super elegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You’ll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it’s so good.