My obsession, though, with sesame seed seasoning began a few decades earlier, in 1981 when my Manhattanite step-aunt Manya took me and my 10-year-old cousin to Foo Chows, a fancy-to-me Chinese restaurant near her co-op on New York City’s Upper East Side. Sesame-crusted chicken was one of the owner’s specialties; it was a taste and texture I had never sunk my teeth into before. I delighted in the overly nutty flavor of the extra crispy skin, especially after I doused it with pure, salty soy sauce.
I first created this roast chicken recipe to replicate my memory of the Foo Chows dish. I have morphed it over the years to include caraway, poppy seeds and dried onion to add complexity to the crust. It’s a simple, throw-together supper for roast chicken lovers and Everything Bagel seasoning zealots alike.