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Culinary Arts

Make Gordon Ramsay’s Roasted Chicken Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Oct 9, 2018 • 4 min read

Written by MasterClass

Oct 9, 2018 • 4 min read

Chef Gordon Ramsay teaches you how to roast chicken whole and then use different cuts, like the chicken breast, to execute different recipes. Be sure to let the chicken come to temp. Once the meat has come to temp, season the cavity so that the juices running through the meat during cooking make contact with seasoning at every point. Then, stuff the cavity with large wedges of vegetables and aromatics. Not only do they add flavor, they also help the chicken keep its shape during cooking. That makes for an easier carve later on and helps the juices circulate evenly. This method of roasted chicken can be the template for many delicious chicken recipes.

For this recipe, the trick to getting the sea salt and Szechuan pepper mix to stick to the skin of the chicken is to brush it with egg yolk. The yolk will also help the skin turn golden brown. Gordon’s cooking method for the chicken—trussing it, elevating with a grate, and placing it in the center of the oven—helps ensure even heat circulation for even cooking. Trussing the chicken fastens the legs and wings close to the body so that all of the flesh cooks evenly and the wings and legs don’t brown too quickly. If you notice the chicken getting color too quickly, cover with foil for 10 minutes. Like any protein, it’s important to let the chicken rest after cooking so that the juices can re-circulate throughout the meat. If you slice into the meat while still hot, it will immediately dry out.

Recipe: Szechuan Pepper Roasted Whole Chicken Stuffed With Lemon, Fennel, Onion, and Thai Basil


  • 1 3-pound whole chicken, cleaned
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 lemon, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise
  • 4 sprigs Thai basil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons Szechuan pepper mix (recipe below)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon salt (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400F. Allow chicken to come to room temperature before preparing. Stand the chicken neck side down on a sheet tray with the legs upwards and facing you. Season the cavity of the chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon salt. Stuff the onion, lemon, and fennel wedges into the cavity so that the carcass will hold a nice rounded shape and not collapse while roasting. Stuff the Thai basil bunch last, into the center of the cavity with the leaves facing outward.

Whisk the egg yolks together to make an egg wash. Brush the chicken liberally with the egg wash over any visible part of the chicken skin, minus the backside of the chicken. This will act as a glue for the seasoning to stick. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of Szechuan pepper mix and 4 tablespoons lemon salt over every inch of the chicken.

Be sure to spread open the wings and chicken legs and rub seasoning in all the crevasses to ensure maximum flavor in the meat and drippings.

To Truss

Use a 2-foot piece of butchers twine to truss the chicken. Wrap the twine around the body lengthwise so the middle section of the twine is at the neck area and each side of the twine is touching the wings and the thighs (under the drumstick). Bring the twine ends together and cross. Tighten the twine and pull the rest of the twine over the ankles. Wrap each side of the twine around the ankles to bring the chicken legs close to the body. Tighten the twine and wrap around the ankles once again, moving outward, to make the ankles touch each other and finish by tying the twine ends together into a bow. Make sure the twine is holding the wings and legs in place tight enough to ensure a plump shape for the chicken during roasting.

To Cook

Place a wire rack between the chicken and the roasting pan to ensure that even the bottom of the chicken skin gets crisp. Roast in the center rack of the oven for 60 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the leg joint area reaches 165F. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes. Use a paring knife or scissors to cut the butchers twine at the point where the ankles meet. Carefully remove the twine and discard. Gently open up the legs and wings to allow the chicken to release heat. Drain the juices from the cavity and the sheet tray into a sieve over a bowl.

To Carve

Place the chicken on a cutting board with the legs facing toward you. Place your knife between the left leg and left breast and use the knife to gently push the leg away from the breast and cavity. Make an incision where the leg and breast meet and cut to the leg joint. If you are not familiar with butchering a chicken, use your hand to bend the leg and look for the leg joint between the thigh and the carcass.

Roll the whole chicken on its right side and bend the leg further away from the breast and back. This action should snap the ball joint to dislocate the leg bone. Lay the whole chicken with its back on the cutting board. Cut through the separated leg joint. Repeat the same steps for the right leg. Rotate the chicken so the breasts now face you. Cut lengthwise between the breasts to the sternum. Run the knife down to the top of the sternum and use pressure to cut through the wishbone with the tip of the knife. Run the tip of the knife from the bottom of where the breasts meet to the wishbone area over and over, staying parallel to the sternum.

Each knife stroke should cut deeper and release the breast from the body further. Locate where the wing joint meets the back and cut down to the cutting board to remove the breast/wing section from the carcass. Repeat the same steps for the second breast.

To finish carving the chicken, take the legs back to the center of the cutting board. Hold the leg vertically by the ankle with the thigh touching the cutting board. Cut down through the thigh and drumstick joint to separate the pieces. Reserve the carcass for chicken stock. Arrange the carved sections on a platter to serve or reserve for separate preparations.

Make the Szechuan Pepper Mix


  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns, crushedCombine and reserve for chicken.

Crush the peppercorns using the back of a pan, a mortar and pestle, or a blender. If you use a blender, pulse the peppercorns—do not run the blender at full speed, as this will grind it too finely. Freshly crushed peppercorns produce appealing aromatics and spicier notes than pre-ground black pepper.

Combine and reserve for chicken.

Crush the peppercorns using the back of a pan, a mortar and pestle, or a blender. If you use a blender, pulse the peppercorns—do not run the blender at full speed, as this will grind it too finely. Freshly crushed peppercorns produce appealing aromatics and spicier notes than pre-ground black pepper.

Make the Lemon Salt


  • 3 Meyer lemons
  • 3 tablespoons Maldon sea salt

Zest Meyer lemons into a mortar and pestle and add Maldon salt. Crush the zest and salt together until fragrant and broken down. Store in an airtight container, in a plastic or ceramic container wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, or a zip-lock bag in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks.

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