We’ve owned Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook for years now. Admittedly though, we have not put it to good use for “reasons” so flimsy they’re really just excuses.
“We don’t have time to cook in general.”
But we do have time so, “The book is too big to have open on the counter to reference.”
But we can rip pages out of the book and tape them to the refrigerator so, “We don’t have the money to buy exotic ingredients or special equipment.”
But we do have the money so, “TK’s recipes are Just. Too. Complicated.”
But the first recipe in the book, the one that isn’t even a part of any of the regular chapters, is for Mon Poulet Rôti, or Thomas Keller’s Favorite Simple Roast Chicken. Exactly that — simple — the recipe has only three real ingredients, one of which is optional, so you don’t need to keep referencing it as you cook. It might look long and complicated because the directions take up an entire page, but let’s just say that it’s unnecessarily so; TK is wordier than we are.
The chicken doesn’t require much “active” cooking time and best of all, costs only what a whole roasting chicken would cost at the market (we assume you already have a roasting pan and kitchen twine).
The hardest part about the recipe for us was rinsing the chicken and patting it dry. But we’ll get into our phobias and OCD problems about poultry sanitation in another post.
We’re sharing the recipe below, directions edited down to just the important stuff.
Thomas Keller’s Simple Roast Chicken – Mon Poulet Roti
from the Bouchon cookbook by Thomas Keller
makes 2 to 4 servings
One 2- to 3-pound farm raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Preheat oven to 450. Rinse chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out…
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird…
Now, salt the chicken — I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Place chicken in saute pan or roasting pan and when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven…Roast it until it’s done, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
…Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side…