Eating well is essential to living well and nothing compares to a delicious, nutritious home-cooked meal. No one knows this quite like L.A.’s top chef, Pamela Salzman. Her at-home cooking classes (attended by fashionable folks like designer Jenni Kayne, actress Kristen Bell, and stylist Jessica De Ruiter) are famous for transforming kitchen novices into pros, and as a certified holistic health counselor, she always focuses on the most delicious ways to prepare healthy, locally grown, and seasonally available ingredients. Of course, Pamela can’t always make house calls, so we grabbed our video camera and asked her to give The Chalkboard readers an exclusive step-by-step guide to whipping up her most popular recipes. First up on the menu is the ultimate, no-fail roast chicken. It’s so simple we swear it’s basically impossible to mess up, and whether you want to impress a special someone or just make a satisfying and quick dinner that your entire family will love, this is the recipe for you.

For the full recipe and written instructions, read more:

Easy, No-Fail Roast Chicken by Pamela Salzman

serves 4-6, assuming not everyone wants the breast meat

1 4-5 pound roasting chicken, preferably free-range, organic from a small local farm

Kosher Salt (such as Diamond Crystal)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, halved

½ bunch fresh thyme or 4 6-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary

4-5 large cloves of garlic smashed

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or olive oil + more for drizzling vegetables

1 large onion, peeled and thickly sliced

kitchen twine for trussing

assorted chopped vegetables such as potatoes, winter squash, carrots, fennel


1. When you return home from the market, unwrap the chicken and remove the giblets from the cavity.  Rinse the chicken inside and out and dry very well with paper towels.  Remove piece of fat from the outside of the cavity.  Take a heaping tablespoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper and rub it inside the cavity.  If there’s any more salt left on your hands, rub it in between the skin and the breast meat. Rewrap the chicken and refrigerate until ready to cook.

2. Remove chicken from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before cooking.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

3. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, thyme or rosemary and garlic.

4. Spread the onion slices on the bottom of a shallow roasting pan.  Place the chicken on top of the onions and tie the drumsticks with kitchen twine.  Brush all over with the melted butter or oil.

5.  Scatter chopped vegetables around chicken and drizzle vegetables with oil.  Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with a little salt and pepper.

6.  Roast the chicken for 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 ½ hours or until a instant read thermometer inserted in the breast reads 160-165 degrees.  Transfer to a platter or a cutting board and allow to rest about 10-20 minutes, tented with foil.

6.  Carve and serve immediately.


Music credit: “Remembrance of Things to Come ” by Princeton


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