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Chef John's Salt Roasted Chicken

Chef John's Salt Roasted Chicken

  • Prep

    15 m
  • Cook

    55 m
  • Ready In

    1 h 15 m
Chef John

Chef John

This is one of those rare recipes where the name is the same as the ingredient list. You're going to be so shocked at how flavorful, juicy, and amazing this roast chicken comes out.

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Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 554 kcal
  • 28%
  • Fat:
  • 35.7 g
  • 55%
  • Carbs:
  • 1.2g
  • < 1%
  • Protein:
  • 53.7 g
  • 107%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 185 mg
  • 62%
  • Sodium:
  • 4701 mg
  • 188%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Dry the outside of chicken with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips underneath the chicken and place into a large oven-safe skillet. Use scissors to snip off the tail, if desired.
  3. Generously sprinkle kosher salt into the cavity and over the back and sides of chicken. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle salt generously over the breasts, coating them thoroughly. Wipe excess salt out of skillet with paper towels.
  4. Bake chicken in the preheated oven until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into a thigh, not touching bone, reads 160 degrees C (70 degrees C), 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from skillet to a serving platter and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Blot about 90 percent of the chicken fat from the skillet with a paper towel held with tongs, leaving the browned bits of food in the skillet. Place skillet over medium-high heat and add thyme leaves. Cook and stir until thyme is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour lemon juice, chicken broth, and water into skillet, stirring until the browned bits dissolve and the sauce has reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to low, add cold butter, and stir until butter has begun to melt. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken to sauce and continue to stir until butter is incorporated and sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.
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To debbiemaltais, if you don't make the recipe as stated (with COARSE KOSHER SALT, not sea salt which is much, much stronger!) don't give it a mediocre rating, that is not fair to the recipe, even if you plan to come back later and change it. And to user mk -- Who are you, the salt police? Don't low rate a recipe just because it doesn't meet your idea of what is 'healthy'. The rest of us can read, same as you, and decide for ourselves. And seriously, the nutritional information is based on the total amount of salt used in the recipe, not allowing for the amount you are going to wipe out of the pan before roasting, so you don't eat that. And yes, for those who thought this was too 'salty', be aware that coarsely ground kosher salt will give good results, regular "table" salt, finely ground kosher salt, or sea salt will make the chicken inedible if used as a substitute. All that said, this is a great and simple recipe with consistently good results. Do be SURE to wipe out the pan well, even unto lifting out the chicken to be sure you get what was under it, before putting it in the pan. I didn't season mine in the pan the second time I made it, I seasoned it on a plate and THEN put it in the pan -- extra plate to was, I realize, but you have to wash the dishes anyway!




My husband thought it was excellent. He said: ..."perhaps the best chicken I ever had!". I had followed your recipe without any change. Thank you Chef John.




the chicken came out fantastic. People, please don't rate the recipes based on using the wrong ingredients.

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