For chef Michael Symon, nothing tops the wood oven-roasted chicken at Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto and the legendary roast chicken with bread salad at San Francisco’s Zuni Café. Here, recipes for those iconic roast chickens and others.

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017
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In this week’s Chefs in Conversation video, Kristen Kish and Michael Symon chat about their absolute, hands-down favorite roast chickens in the country. For Symon, nothing tops the wood oven-roasted chicken at Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto and the legendary roast chicken with bread salad at San Francisco’s Zuni Café. Here, recipes for those iconic roast chickens and others.

The reason Zuni Café’s roast chicken is so good is because the chefs only use small free-range birds, which are salted for 24 hours to allow the seasoning to penetrate deeply. The high roasting temperature means supremely crisp skin.

Jonathan Waxman has been famous for roast chicken since the 1980s. The secret to his insanely juicy, crisp-skinned chicken is nearly constant basting.

Manhattan’s Uncle Boon's is renowned for its rotisserie chicken. But the birds are equally delicious roasted on a rack in a home oven. Here’s what makes them so good: They’re brined, then rubbed with a combination of coconut cream and makrut lime before roasting, yielding golden, crackly skin.

Every glowing review of this New York restaurant included praise for the incredible roast chicken. It’s served with a homey bread salad, which smartly includes seared chicken livers and wing meat, which bring all the flavors of the dish together.

The menu at Shaun Doty’s chicken-focused restaurant in Atlanta, Bantam + Biddy, revolves around his rotisserie chicken. Coated in a lemony fennel-seed rub, the recipe is just as good in a home oven.

Julia Child’s classic roast chicken is pretty much foolproof. It’s seasoned inside and out. The cavity is packed with sautéed vegetables, lemon slices and fresh herbs. The outside is rubbed with butter.