This Is the No. 1 Technique All Home Cooks Should Know, According to Ina Garten

ina garten wearing a chambray blouse
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If we were to write an unauthorized kitchen survival guide according to Ina Garten, we imagine her essentials would include chambray, good olive oil, good vanilla, good vodka and...roast chicken.

As it turns out, we’re not that far off. Earlier this month, she revealed to The New Yorker Radio Hour host David Remnick that she thinks roast chicken is the *one* thing home cooks should know how to make.

In the interview, Remnick poses the question: “If I’m having four people over, six people, whatever it is, what do I need to know? What do I not need to be nervous about? What would you recommend I start with?”

Ina’s answer is so quintessentially Ina that you shouldn’t be surprised:

“I think there’s one thing everybody should know how to do,” she says, “which is a roast chicken. I do it in all different forms. I do it with potatoes and fennel. In this book [Go-To Dinners], I have a spring roast chicken or a roast chicken with spring vegetables, with things like asparagus. You can put almost any vegetable in a roasting pan and a chicken on top of it and put it in the oven. It’s the easiest thing in the world. The only thing you have to do is make sure you don’t overcook the chicken. People get really nervous.”

If you, like us, are one of those nervous people, know this: You can study up with a Barefoot Contessa cookbook and roast a chicken that may or may not come out of the oven gorgeously golden and juicy...or you can always phone it in with the oldest trick in the book: rotisserie chicken. Just wink and say it’s homemade.

Ina Garten Thinks This Ingredient Is B.S. (and We Kinda Do Too)


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...