Five Meals Every Man Should Master
Credit: John Lee
No. 3 – Roast Chicken

Juicy breast meat and crispy brown skin – those are the hallmarks of the perfect roast chicken. And Keller, who loves roast chicken so much he once placed it on a hypothetical menu for his own last meal – along with a half-kilo of osetra caviar ($1,600) and a homemade quesadilla (50 cents) – delivers both in the single easiest roast chicken recipe ever, the one he makes at home.

"People love roast chicken; it makes them feel comfortable," Keller tells me, setting a raw chicken on his cutting board. And then he shows me the critical techniques: getting the entire bird bone-dry before you cook, trussing it up tight, and positively coating it with salt.

The Complete Recipe: Roast Chicken

• 2-1/2- to 3-lb chicken
• Kosher salt
• 1 tbsp chopped thyme

Step 1
Use paper towels to dry the chicken inside and out. This helps the skin to crisp.

Step 2
Preheat oven to 450 and truss the chicken. Leave the bird out for at least 30 minutes before cooking. A room-temperature chicken will cook more evenly throughout.

Step 3
Salt generously, then place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Set in the oven and leave alone – don't baste it, don't add butter. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes.

Step 4
Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped thyme into the pan juices. Baste with the juices; let rest 15 minutes.

Step 5
Remove twine, legs and thighs. Cut the breast down the middle and serve each half on the bone, wings attached.