When people toss around the old cliché, “cook with love,” what they’re saying is take your time, pay attention, and put effort into your cooking. There is probably no better metric for love in cooking than the roasting of a chicken. It is, in terms of active prep time and cooking steps, a relatively simple procedure—but one that can quickly go awry if the breast becomes dried out or the skin doesn’t get properly crisped.
But there is no better bird than a properly roast chicken with crisp, golden skin and juicy meat. We love the Nomad‘s baller iteration crammed with foie gras and truffles, the new-school roast bird at Rotisserie Georgette, and the immaculate roast chicken with bread salad at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. We also adore Jonathan Waxman’s version at Barbuto, and the cheap-as-a-Happy Meal roast chicken from the Dominican spot El Malecon in Washington Heights.
There’s a great big world of fantastic roast chicken out there. So if you’re looking for some lunch inspiration, get up from your desk, find the closest roast chicken to you, and go H.A.M.
Click through the slideshow for pictures of the illest roast chicken on the planet.