Simple roast chicken with a digital tip-sensitive thermometer

Food safety has never been Mark Bitman’s strong point. The author of Don’t blame sprouts, and For the love of a good burger (in which he advocated rare hamburger consumption) usually sides with polemic rather than evidence. But yesterday in the N.Y. Times, Bittman offered his simple recipe for roast chicken and advocated the use of a thermometer.

1. “Put a cast-iron skillet on a low rack in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Rub the chicken all over with the oil and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.

2. “When the oven and skillet are hot, carefully put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until the bird is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh reads 155 to 165 degrees.”

Been doing a variation of this for years (right). In the accompanying video, Bittman makes no mention of the thermometer and instead says there should be the “tiniest trace of pink,” along with lots of cross-contamination, but it’s a baby step.