Barbara Kafka's high heat method of roasting is my favourite method whether roasting chicken or roasting turkey, beef, pork or lamb. I've been using her method now for many years.
If I have time I also like to pair this method with Judy Rogers' method of presalting.
To simplify this recipe - season a chicken, put it into a shallow roasting pan and put the pan into a preheated 500°F oven and roast for 50 to 60 minutes. .TIP: Use a roasting pan just big enough to hold the turkey/chicken. This will prevent smoke.
Simplest Roast Chicken
Copied directly from Barbara Kafka's "Roasting, A simple Art" Cookbook.
NOTE: I use Judy Roger's (Zuni Cafe) Presalting Method to season and Barbara Kafka's Roasting Method.
5- to 6-pound chicken, wing tips removed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
I lemon, halved
4 whole garlic cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 cup Basic Chicken Stock or canned,
water. Fruit juice. or wine for
Kosher salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 500°F
50 ~ 60
Here it is, the recipe that started the book. If there is no lemon, garlic, or butter on hand, roast the chicken without them. Or play. Use peeled shallots or a small onion, quartered. Add some leaves from the top of a bunch of celery, a couple of sage leaves, or a Bay leaf. Try a few juice orange or blood orange wedges.
Vary the deglazing liquid to change the flavor of the gravy or to match what's in the bird. Basic Chicken Stock-or canned-is the starting point, but use part wine-whatever is left over, red or white-or a little vermouth. Make one third of the liquid orange juice if oranges are in the bird. This is not astrophysics. Have fun.
Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. heat oven to 500°E
Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken. Freeze the neck and giblets for Basic Chicken Stock. Reserve chicken livers for another use.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and butter. if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in a 12 x 8 x I 1/2-inch roasting pan breast side up. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spatula to keep it from sticking.
Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end. As you lift the chicken, tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out and into the pan.
Pour off or spoon out excess fat from the roasting pan and put the roasting pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring the contents of the pan to a boil, while scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauce boat.