Classic Roast Chicken
Why This Recipe Works
Roasting chicken should be a simple affair, but getting the white and dark meat to cook at the same rate while also developing crisp, golden skin is often a challenge. After testing almost every variable we could think of—oven temperature, turning the bird halfway through cooking, basting, and trussing—we found that roasting a chicken is actually quite easy as long as you use the proper technique. Roasting the chicken at 400 degrees for the duration of cooking (rather than adjusting the temperature partway) worked best. Continuous basting didn't improve our roast chicken; we found that applying butter under the skin and rubbing the bird with olive oil before it went into the oven gave it great color and a crisp texture. Trussing also proved unnecessary; the dark meat cooked more quickly when left untrussed. The only extra step we found truly important was turning the bird twice for evenly cooked meat and crisp, browned skin.