Thomas Keller’s [3-Ingredient] Roasted Chicken


My favorite, easiest-ever roasted chicken recipe! No butter or oil necessary, just a good quality chicken, salt and pepper. I like to serve this incredibly crispy, juicy chicken with a simple green salad and potatoes, or slices of my no-knead crusty artisan bread.

Thomas Keller [3-Ingredient] Roasted Chicken – So easy, crisp and juicy! No butter or oil. You’ll be amazed at the ingredients!

If you’ve poked around The Comfort of Cooking for more than 5 minutes, you’ve probably run into some kind of roasted chicken recipe.

The classic crispy, tender roasted chicken a staple in my house, since I can often get several meals from roasting one bird. However, I’m always looking for ways to change up my traditional methods (lemonsriracha or pesto-and-potato chickens, anyone?). This time, instead of adding more fuss and flavorings, I wanted to try famed chef Thomas Keller’s minimalist approach. No butter, no oil, and no basting. Just stick it in the oven and LEAVE IT.

And it was unlike any chicken I’ve ever made before. In the best way!

 Thomas Keller [3-Ingredient] Roasted Chicken – So easy, crisp and juicy! No butter or oil. You’ll be amazed at the ingredients!
Thomas Keller [3-Ingredient] Roasted Chicken – So easy, crisp and juicy! No butter or oil. You’ll be amazed at the ingredients!

So, what do you need? A chicken, salt and pepper, a roasting pan, and some kitchen twine to tie up the legs. Trussing the bird helps it cook more evenly, and makes for a more beautiful roasted bird. I have no particular method, I just kind of go with whatever gets the job done. My method changes every time. But, if you’re so inclined to not be like me and learn how to do it correctly, here is a quick video. (Which I should probably watch.)

I make sure the chicken is nice and dry – no water, no oil – and place it in a roasting pan. Keller’s theory is that adding oil creates moisture/steam, which inhibits a crispy bird. I rain salt and pepper all over the bird, and stick it in the oven. Set a timer. Clean up. Go about my business.

About an hour and a half later, the bird is crispy and beautiful! And the house smells AMAZING. I slide it out of the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Carve it up and serve it with a big green salad and roasted potatoes or crusty bread.

So delicious, simple and mouthwateringly tender! I guarantee you will love this one.

Thomas Keller [3-Ingredient] Roasted Chicken – So easy, crisp and juicy! No butter or oil. You’ll be amazed at the ingredients!

Thomas Keller's [3-Ingredient] Roasted Chicken


  • 1 whole 5- to 6-pound chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, optional


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange oven rack on bottom third.
  • Rinse chicken then dry very well with paper towels. The less water, the less steam. The less steam, the drier the heat and crisper the chicken!
  • Place chicken in a large roasting pan (with or without a wire rack underneath). Truss the bird, tying the legs together and close to the body of the chicken. (This helps the chicken cook evenly and results in a more beautiful roasted bird.)
  • Sprinkle all over with kosher salt (about 1 Tablespoon). Season to taste with pepper.
  • Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on size*. Do not baste or add butter or oil. (Keller’s theory is that this creates steam, which inhibits the crispness and tenderness of the chicken). If chicken is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  • To measure temperature, place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. It should reach 165 degrees F.
  • Remove chicken from oven and baste with pan juices. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, if desired. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
  • Enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. Fabulous! Gotta try this one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Is this a sort of miracle?! I can’t believe you didn’t use any flavoring and not even butter or oil! It looks so crispy and juicy! I have a feeling this recipe will be life changing :)

  3. Roast chicken even simply spiced is a guest worthy dish. This was roasted
    to a PERFECT golden brown. Yum.

  4. That’s a beauty of a roast chicken!

  5. YUM! This chicken looks delicious!

  6. Nice presentation and it looks really delicious. Great recipe!

  7. I love how simple this recipe is!

  8. Simplicity at its finest! Love it!

  9. PINNING THIS so that someday when I get the nerve to deal with a bird’s innards and roast it i can do it this way!

  10. Just an FYI, Thomas Keller recommends NOT rinsing your bird. In fact, rinsing it can spread germs all over the kitchen. Cooking the bird negates the need of washing the bird. The bird also needs to be room temperature before you cook it. It really is the best roasted chicken of all time though! I was hunting for sides to accompany a bird tonight when I came across your blog. Your Artisan bread is a great idea as are pesto-potatoes!

  11. Martin Lederman says:

    Great way to make
    a fabulous chicken. Salt and pepper inside and out. Truss. We roast at 450 degrees until the breast reads 155 degrees. Baste with the juices upon removal from the oven, sprinkle with thyme, wait 15 minutes…Perfection.

  12. NavyFlyer1325 says:

    You forgot to tuck the wingtips underneath.

  13. Thomas Hoenlin says:

    Thomas explicitly states do NOT rinse the chicken. There’s absolutely no need to. He also removes the wishbone first to facilitate carving.

  14. Perfectly golden; as promised!

  15. I was looking for a simple recipe and so going to try this! Although my new favorite way to roast the chicken is spatchcock in a cast iron pan. Looking forward to this.

  16. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  17. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my website =). We could have a link exchange contract between us!

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