Chef Barbara Rich's roast chicken

How to Roast Chicken Like a Pro

Chef Barbara demonstrates roasted chicken with the perfect complement on Epicurious.

Epicurious' 4 Levels series features three chefs making their takes on classic dishes, followed by analysis from a food scientist. On this week's episode, the lead chef of our Culinary Arts program, Barbara Rich, prepares a flavorful chicken dish with crunchy bread salad.

Chef Barbara says she likes roasting because you can have the whole chicken with white and dark meat without the mess of cooking stovetop. Her pro trick: Place sprigs of thyme underneath the chicken skin for 24 hours before roasting. The seasoning permeates the meat and dries out the skin for crispiness.

Watch Chef Barbara demonstrate how to make bread salad in the video and get her simple roast chicken recipe below.


Roast Chicken

Yields 2-4 servings


  • 1 3.5-pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme


  1. Pat the chicken dry, inside and out.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt, using a just little bit for the cavity. Season with pepper as desired.
  3. Using your finger, release the skin from the breast meat and place the thyme sprigs under the skin over each breast.
  4. Place the chicken in a leak-proof container and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  5. Heat the oven to 475 F.
  6. Place a cast iron pan in the oven 20-30 minutes before you want to cook.
  7. Set the chicken backside down into the pan. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. If chicken gets too dark or pan begins to smoke, turn heat down by 25 degrees.
  8. Flip the chicken over onto the breast and roast 20 minutes.
  9. Flip back to the backbone and finish cooking for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  11. Save all juices to pour over cooked and cut chicken.
Bread Salad


  • 1 loaf ciabatta, crusts removed
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups baby greens (arugula, watercress or mustard greens)
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Tear the crustless bread into slightly larger than bite-sized pieces.
  3. Place onto a baking tray and into oven.
  4. Lightly toast bread so it's crunchy on the outside and still chewy on the inside. Approximately 8 minutes.
  5. Toss the toasted bread in a large bowl with the scallions, pine nuts, vinegar and oil.
  6. Once the roast chicken has cooked, drain the juices from the pan and chicken into the bowl with the bread and other ingredients.
  7. Toss thoroughly to combine with the greens.
  8. Adjust seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve under the cut-up roast chicken for presentation.

Study Culinary Arts with Chef Barbara at ICE's New York campus.

Submitted by jayefromjersey on December 23, 2019 2:57pm

I have made this a couple of times now. The first time with chicken the second with Cornish Hens. This is the BEST way to bake a chicken. I love it! 

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