(Chicago) – A dish does not have to be complicated or have 40+ ingredients to be delicious. There are many dishes that are very simple and minimal in preparations but surprisingly good. This roast chicken is one of them.

This is adapted from a recipe of Thomas Keller who is a world-renowned chef and restaurateur behind The French Laundry in Napa Valley. As big time as he is, this golden roast chicken is one of his favorite comfort foods. I know why –it is very easy to prepare, the meat comes really juicy, the skin renders perfectly producing a crunchy and golden crust, and you can do other stuffs while the chicken is sweating in the oven.

All you need:  whole chicken (around 3-4 lbs), 1 yard of roasting string, salt, ground pepper, dried thyme (optional)

Pre-heat oven at 450F. Let the chicken come to room temperature. This is a must so the inside will cook properly. Remove the wishbone, found in the collar area, by scraping the bone carefully with a paring knife, then pull out. Season generously the inside cavity with salt and pepper.

Tie chicken with the string to make it compact so that it will cook evenly. Breast up, put string under the tail, bring over top of the legs, cross underneath the opposite legs making an 8-figure, then tighten it, bring the string across body, flip chicken over, then make a knot over the collar part.

Season the outside with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with some thyme or parsley. Place chicken in a small oven-proof pan. Pop the pan in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes.

Do you see that lovely tiny heart-shape fatty tail? We call it “tumbong” in Filipino. And that’s my favorite part of the chicken. I used to order a skewer of 6 grilled “tumbong” in a Chinese restaurant in Binondo all for myself. Heavenly! :)