“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
-Leonardo Da Vinci
During my time as a guy with a blog who types words for random people to read, I’ve referenced Da Vinci’s quote approximately 164 times. Why? Because it’s the only quote I know (not true), but also because I’m consistently reminded of its validity in my day to day life.
I prefer music without words. They make me think too much. When I write I don’t waste any more time than necessary prettying up my sentences because I just want to get to the point. Hell, I can’t stand using scented dryer sheets. They stink. And as it relates to this post, I like my chicken seasoned with salt & pepper. I don’t need your chipotle barbecue sauce and side of mango chutney. And not just because the word chutney is stupid. Sometimes, eating chicken that tastes like chicken should be the objective.
And that was precisely the objective six years ago when Anthony Bourdain phoned it in on one of his last Travel Channel episodes and did a show where he visited a variety of chefs charged with teaching the audience how to cook a variety of basic recipes every home cook should know. One of those chefs was Thomas Keller showing us a simple roasted chicken recipe. This caught my attention for a couple of reasons. One, I don’t think I had ever had a homemade roasted in chicken in my life. And two, the recipe was so damn basic that there was no way it couldn’t be anything but good coming from a chef of Keller’s type of acclaim. So six years later, I bought a six pound chicken to the mark the occasion of remembering to do something I always wanted to do, and put the recipe to the test.
Did you watch the video? You won’t find a recipe more straight forward. Buy a bird, put salt and pepper on it, tie it up and then put it in the oven until it’s done. If you can do that you’ll have a chicken that tastes better than any fowl you’ve ever had before. The key is in the salt. If you watch the video Keller uses the word “coat” when it comes to your use of salt. When you’re salting the bird you need to put more salt on it than you’ve probably ever used before. And then when you think it’s had enough, put a little extra on for added effectiveness. You might die a day earlier than you would have otherwise due to all of the sodium, but when you taste this chicken you’ll come to realize it’s worth it. Salt makes the chicken actually taste like chicken. It’s amazing – not salty. In fact, it’s so good you’ll even want the leftovers, something previously unheard of given the general awful flavor and stench left over chicken gives off.
If you’re a lover of pure things try this recipe . The next time someone says “tastes like chicken” you’ll get excited when you remember just how good a chicken can actually taste.