When I first discovered TK’s recipe for simple roast chicken we (that is my household) thought we’d found the holy grail of roast chicken. I made it a lot, sometimes foregoing the addition of thyme sometimes not. It was always delicious, delivering crispy skin and juicy, flavorful chicken with minimal effort. But the oven afterwards was a mess and after one or two roast chickens it couldn’t be used for anything else without cleaning otherwise the oven smoked like crazy.
After moving to a new house with double wall ovens, I used the bottom one for the chicken, but after reading about the perils of using the self cleaning cycle and alarmed at the heat it generated on the surrounding cabinetry, I stopped with roasting birds at 450 degrees. I cannot stand the mess that I have to clean every time. If I had staff to clean my oven I’d keep at it but since I’m the cook and the staff, I’m done - a reformed chicken roaster.
The first time roasting a chicken at 400 demonstrated very clearly what happens when roasting at 450 – all the fat that drains from the chicken as it is roasting vaporizes when it hits the hot pan and coats the inside of the oven. TK’s chicken comes out of the oven with little to no fat remaining in the pan, just the good chicken juice essence. A 400 degree chicken comes out just as good, almost as crispy, with but one “downside”: the roasting pan contains all the melted fat - none of it gets vaporized onto the oven walls. That’s the only tradeoff I’ve found, unless a clean oven is viewed as a tradeoff.
Clean oven and chicken almost as good, sorry Mr. Keller but your chicken is unsuited to this home cook’s kitchen.