Perfect this Recipe: Roast Chicken

This season's pick for the recipe we want to "perfect" is a simple roast chicken.  It just seems like one of those dishes I should be able to whip out beautifully.  For times like when you have family friends over or your mother in law is in town, it would be nice to be able to cook a perfect roast chicken without giving it much thought.  I think a really good roast chicken is actually supposed to be really easy to make.  We've picked 5 recipes to test that each get rave reviews. 

So here's our line up with recipe links:

Jamie Oliver's "Perfect Roast Chicken."  Jamie Oliver is becoming a favorite around here so I'm betting this one has a strong chance.  He uses carrots, celery, onions and garlic to flavor his.
Smitten Kitchen's Flat Roasted Chicken.  This one definitely seems to be the simplest and requires little time.  Her recipe was Parisian inspired which makes it a win in my book.  I think it's important to use a small bird (about 3.5lbs) for this one.
Glamour Magazine's "Engagement Chicken."  This recipe is rumored to make men fall in love and propose.  How romantic. :)
Ina Garten's "Jeffery's Roast Chicken."  You know how much I love Ina.  She roasts a chicken for Jeffrey every Friday night so I'm thinking this has to be good.  Cute little tradition I think!
Café Zuni's Chicken.  I've seen this roast chicken mentioned a million places, raved about from lots of bloggers and even the New York Times deems it the best so we shall see!

Each of these use different techniques.  Of course, they are all roasted, but some of these recipes use high temps, some low, some have quite a few things to season the chicken, and others just simple salt and olive oil.  So I'm really curious to figure out which one wins out.  Over the next two weeks we'll be testing each of these contenders.  We'd love if you do the same to share which one you love.  If you already have a go to recipe please share.  We'll take notes and report back on which one is best.

p.s. As far has past perfect recipe results, we can say definitively that Jamie Oliver's pizza dough really is the best.  It is our Friday night staple in this house and is a tried and true go to.  And for Fish Tacos, Cooking Light's Blackened Baja tacos are the clear winner.

~Mary Keller

Images via Jamie's Oliver and Lucy Dylan Weddings


  1. We've done a few of the recipes listed above but our favorite roast chicken is from The Lee Brothers. I think it's their Southern Cookbook. It's all about how they cook it. We add all sorts of ingredients each time we make it, whatever leftover veg is on hand. Good luck with your hunt for the best roast chicken!

    1. Katherine, it's so good to hear from you! Hope you guys are doing well. I think I need that Lee Brothers cookbook, I've heard good things about so many of the recipes. I'm going to look into the roast chicken specifically right now, thanks for letting me know.