Comparing 8 famous roast chickens to determine the tastiest bird

Roast Chicken cookoff

Personally, I would die a happy person if the Zuni Cafe's Roast Chicken was my last meal. However, I do know people who swear by Thomas Keller's and Julia Child's versions. So I was really excited to read about the great roast chicken cookoff that BuzzFeedFood just ran. Essentially, they took 8 famous roast chickens and had them compete in a roast-off. 

The chickens were:

  • Glamour magazine's "Engagement Chicken" (so good, he'll propose to you)
  • Jamie Oliver's "Perfect Roast Chicken" -  trussed and stuffed with lemon
  • Julia Child's "Favorite Roast Chicken" - fussy, but a classic
  • The Food Lab's "Butterflied Roast Chicken" - Kenji Lopez-Alt conquers dry breast meat
  • Judy Rodgers' "Roast Chicken" from Zuni Café - requires advance thought but the skin reigns supreme
  • Martha Stewart's "Perfect Roast Chicken" - how could you not include Martha?
  • The Pioneer Woman's "Roast Chicken" - Start with 1 1/2 sticks of butter and go from there.
  • Thomas Keller's "My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken" - Somehow "Keller" and "simple" are not two words that are normally associated - but that's no reason to doubt the recipe.

In the article, Roast Chicken Tournament Crowns The Best Recipe Ever, they list the brackets, the results of each of the contests, tasting notes, and links to the recipes. And the ultimate winner? Thomas Keller. But they were extremely positive on six of the contestants (the Pioneer Woman's and Martha Stewart's were the only two that lost in landslides), and noted that each of the six had their champions.

Maybe the real fun is the implicit challenge to the readers. Go forth and make the six recipes and judge for yourself.

Photo courtesy of Buzz Food











  • wester  on  11/8/2013 at 2:46 AM

    OK, I guess I will have to try Thomas Keller's recipe sometime, even though I am very happy with the Zuni Café method. But how does one truss a chicken? Does anyone know a good instruction video?

  • ellabee  on  11/8/2013 at 11:46 AM

    One of the best things I've ever seen on Buzzfeed (low bar). But they really should incorporate a commenter's point that the "Glamour" method is Marcella Hazan's -- a particularly unfortunate omission, given the appropriateness of remembering her now. Maybe EYB could change the label for that entry in the graphic above, which currently misspells it in an unappetizing way.

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