Kirbie's Cravings

2 Ingredient Crispy Roast Chicken

This is the best method for making roast chicken. The skin comes out super crispy and the chicken meat stays juicy, moist and flavorful. You only need two ingredients for the perfect roast chicken. No butter or oil is needed and no basting is required.

I think this is the best method for making roast chicken. My whole family and everyone I’ve shared this recipe with loves it. It is such a simple recipe but it produces great results every time. The recipe I’m sharing today is adapted from Chef Thomas Keller’s favorite simple roast chicken and we also add an extra step of a dry brine. We think the combination of the two techniques is what makes this chicken the best roast chicken.


  • Kosher Salt
  • Whole chicken

All you need are salt and chicken to make the best roast chicken. You don’t need butter and you don’t need other seasonings. The chicken comes out very flavorful and seasoned.

Kosher salt: Make sure to use kosher salt and not table salt.

Whole chicken: This recipe works best with fresh whole chicken. Since the chicken is the star of the recipe, we recommend using high quality chicken, such as organic chicken. We also found the ideal size for the chicken is around 4 pounds (with innards and giblets removed) or less. While you can use a slightly bigger chicken (we wouldn’t go more than 5 lbs), a larger chicken will take longer to cook and the chicken cooks at a very high temperature so it can cause the skin to get overcooked.

How to Make Simple Roasted Chicken

  • Remove any innards and giblets from the chicken and thoroughly pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Generously salt the chicken, both on the surface and in the cavity. Place the chicken on the wire rack of a roasting pan.
  • Place chicken with roasting pan into the fridge for a few hours or overnight. While this step is not in the original recipe and you could do without it, we found that adding the dry brine really makes the chicken so much better. It allows time for the salt to draw out the moisture from the skin, which allows the skin to really crisp up. In addition, the moisture breaks down the salt and is reabsorbed into the meat, which makes the meat tender and juicy. This process is known as osmosis.
  • Truss the chicken with some kitchen twine. This is key to the chicken cooking evenly. See the video for how to truss chicken. 
  • The chicken is roasted in the oven at 450F for about one hour or until the chicken is cooked.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • No basting, butter or oil needed. You put the chicken in the oven and that’s it.
  • The chicken skin comes out incredibly crispy and the chicken meat is so juice, tender and flavorful even with only salt used to season it.
  • It’s a quick easy meal that takes only a few minutes to prepare..

More Easy Chicken Recipes

2 Ingredient Crispy Roast Chicken

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
You’re never going to believe you only need two ingredients to make the perfect, juiciest chicken. No oil or butter is required to get a crispy, crackly skin. We combine Thomas Keller's famous roast chicken technique and add a dry brine and a little science called osmosis. The chicken is generously salted and then sits overnight in the fridge. The salt draws out moisture and then gets reabsorbed into the meat to make it tender and flavorful. As it cooks, the natural fat from the skin will make it super crispy and crunchy. This dish is truly a show stopper and will be an amazing addition to your weekly dinner rotation!


  • 4 lb (1814 g) whole chicken preferably organic, see note regarding size
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp (12 g- 18 g) kosher salt see note on amount of salt to use


  • Remove innards and giblets from inside the chicken. Pat completely dry with paper towels (on both the outside and in the cavity) and place in a large roasting pan with a wire rack.
  • Generously sprinkle the salt on both the inside and and outside of the chicken, including the underside. I use about 1 tbsp but you can use 1.5 tbsp if you prefer your chicken to be more seasoned (see note for more details).
  • Put the chicken in the fridge, uncovered, for about 8 hours or overnight. I put it in with the roasting pan so that the roasting pan catches any drippings. See note section on why we recommend this extra step instead of cooking the chicken right away.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
  • Let chicken come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook it. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine. First make a figure 8 with the twine to tie the drumsticks together. Then run the twine to the front of the chicken, tucking the wings into the twine and tying a knot at the front of the chicken. Cut the ends of the twine after you have tied a knot. See video on how to truss the chicken.
  • Put the chicken in the preheated oven (in the roasting pan and sitting on the wire rack) and let it cook for about 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 165°F and the skin is golden brown and crispy. How long the chicken needs to cook will depend on the size of your chicken. Check the chicken halfway through and rotate the pan if one side is getting darker than the other. Let cool slightly before carving.



  • Chicken size: We found that this recipe works best with a 4lb chicken or smaller. A 4 lb chicken will cook in about an hour. Anything larger will need more time which causes the top of the skin to get a bit darker. The largest size chicken to use for this recipe would be 5 lb (but know that your skin won't be golden brown everywhere and will likely be darker brown). 
  • We recommend using organic chicken for best flavor.
  • Salt: In Thomas Keller's original recipe, he very generously salts the chicken and describes it as raining salt on the chicken and adding enough salt that you can still make out the salt on the crispy skin. While this amount of salt is fine, I prefer using less salt when cooking at home to help balance out the amount of salt we eat when we do dine at restaurants.  I use about 1 tbsp of salt and found this was still enough to crisp up the skin, keep the chicken moist and season the chicken. So you can add anywhere between 1 and 1.5 tablespoons, depending on your preference. It will also depend a little on the size of your chicken. The 1.5 tbsp in the chicken is for a 4-5 lb chicken.
  • Dry brine/Refrigeration: While you can cook the chicken right away, we found that the extra step of the dry brine really makes a difference. This process is explained more in the post section, but the salt is given time to absorb moisture from the skin, allowing the skin to really crisp up. The salt is also reabsorbed back into the chicken which gives the chicken more flavor and makes it very tender. 
  • Part of this recipe is adapted from Thomas Keller's Simple Roast Chicken from his Bouchon cookbook


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 233kcal, Protein: 35g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 908mg

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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