Solar Eclipse and Bouchon’s Famous Roast Chicken

Hope you’re having a great start to your week!  We had a fun weekend, especially on Sunday when we got to see the solar eclipse.  Did anyone else see it?  My husband actually built this contraption so we could view it…his talents never cease to amaze me 🙂  A bunch of kids crowded around at the park as we watched the progression of the moon’s progress between the earth and the sun.  It was really cool!

I posted earlier about our dining experience at Bouchon Bistro, a great restaurant in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, where I had their poulet roti (roasted chicken), the best roasted chicken I’ve ever tasted!  When I came home, I googled it, to see if there were any recipes out there.  I was shocked to find that there is actually a youtube video of Chef Thomas Keller preparing this exact dish, and it couldn’t be simpler!  There are literally four ingredients to this recipe: chicken, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.  Roasted at high temperature and never basted, this chicken comes out incredibly moist and tender inside with delectable crispy skin outside.

The first step is to let the chicken come to room temperature as this makes for the most even cooking.  Take out the giblets from the inside of the bird, rinse and pat dry.  Generously salt and pepper the inside of the cavity.  You then take some butcher’s twine and truss the chicken.  Full disclosure: I forgot to pick up butchers twine and we had to improvise, luckily my husband is quite resourceful 🙂  We even got into a debate about whether surgical sutures would melt at 450 degrees, haha!  Thomas Keller goes through step by step how to truss the chicken, which I had never done before…it’s really quite easy.  I would watch the youtube video for instructions on how to do this, as a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words in this case.  Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

You’ll need an oven safe pan, in this case I used my cast iron skillet.  I cut up some russet potatoes and carrots and laid them in the bottom before putting the chicken on top.  I then used kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper and generously applied it to the outside of the bird.  The last step is to put some fresh thyme leaves on top, I used about 3-4 sprigs.  Then place in your 450 degree oven and let it roast for about 40-50 min for a 2-3 pound bird, about 90 min for a 4-5 pound bird, or better yet just check the internal temperature and when it reaches 165 degrees, then you know it’s done.

This turned out so perfectly, and I literally put it in the oven and forgot about it…no basting, no added oil or butter.  Even the white meat was really juicy and tender!   I love when the simplest of preparations makes for the most amazing food!

See that crispy skin!  Served alongside the potatoes and carrots that roasted in the chicken drippings, oh goodness.  We ate half this chicken on our own the first night, saved some for topping a huge salad the second day, and I’m about to turn the rest into shredded BBQ chicken for sliders tonight.  I’m also going to try to make homemade chicken stock with the bones, so we have some on hand for soup.  I spent less than $5 for the chicken, and had the rest of the ingredients on hand…pretty good for a restaurant style meal that served us many times over 🙂

Bouchon’s Roasted Chicken

2-3 pound whole chicken

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Allow chicken to come to room temperature.  Take giblets out of the chicken, rinse and pat dry.  Generously salt and pepper the inside of the cavity.  Truss the chicken following video above.  Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the chicken, along with about 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme.  Place in the oven and roast for about 40-50 min for a 2-3 pound bird, about 90 min for a 4-5 pound bird, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Allow to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Have you re-made any restaurant favorites at home?  


17 thoughts on “Solar Eclipse and Bouchon’s Famous Roast Chicken

  1. OMG I didn’t even know about the eclipse 😦 I am so sad that I missed it 😦 you chicken looks delicious!

  2. What a great job on the solar eclipse contraption! He’s so smart. And this chicken looks absolutely divine! You guys make such a great team! Malia and #2 are so lucky. 🙂

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