ffwd – roast chicken for les paresseux (for lazy people)

What better recipe to choose (yes, we’re chosing the order in which we cook our recipes this month – not helpful for me, who really enjoyed the structure. I make decisions all day – I enjoyed being directed a little!!), for a short week on our cooking journey. We didn’t get our recipe choices until Monday… so, given the fact that roast chicken is a favorite, and it was easy… you get the idea. This recipe was made for me! And for this week.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I made this once before when I first got the book. This time, I thought I’d go the purist route – only chicken! no vegetables! Also, I learned a few things from reading others’ posts: mainly “keep the lid off when baking”; which lead to another try at “the bread trick”. When I made this the first time, I put the bread in the bottom of the pan, but covered my chicken as it roasted (it calls for a Dutch oven), so I ended up with a lot of wonderful juice in the bottom and a barely distinguishable piece of bread.

I was in Sedona over the weekend, and remembered to bring home a bunch of wonderful, fresh herbs from the garden. As Simon & Garfunkle prompted me, I ended up with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme. (corny, yes, true, yes…). Dorie suggests rosemary, thyme and oregano. But it’s fall, and I love sage, and then there was still some lovely fresh parsley…

My ingredients ready to prep.
Beautiful herbs from up north, along with garlic, chicken, salt, pepper, olive oil…
does not get a lot simpler that that!

Afore-mentioned bread in the bottom of the oiled Dutch oven

Everything ready to put together. Chicken salted and peppered, check.
Liver ready to put back inside the chicken, check.
Herbs & split garlic, check, check, check…

ready to bake!

The lovely chicken as it comes out of the oven.

This recipe makes a great chicken. In fact, it’s exactly what a great chicken should be. Wonderful chicken flavor with hints of herbs and mellow garlic. The chicken liver turns out beautifully (I have to admit, I didn’t get a lot farther that trying the bread, eating some liver, and a little of the juicy chicken breast). I still don’t think I have the “bread trick” right – and if I do, it’s probably something I should stay away from. Mine was carmelized on the bottom, but filled with chicken fat (not that it’s a bad thing), certainly not nearly as virtuous as I’d like to think having “roast chicken” should be. It was, however, delicious.

Here’s what I learned: With the lid off, the herbs and garlic got overly crisp. But the skin was great, and there was at least the option of the bread. When I made this before, with the lid on (and the optional vegetables), everything stayed nice and softened, and there was still some crispiness to the chicken skin. I know the garlic was yummy… but both were terrific, which is why I’ll make this again.

6 thoughts on “ffwd – roast chicken for les paresseux (for lazy people)

  1. Love your beautiful fresh herbs! I too made this right when the book came out and my bread was just a soggy mush, stuck to the bottom of the pan. I'm looking forward to trying this again with a really thick piece to see if I have better success. Your chicken looks ready to be gobbled up!

  2. The bread trick didn't work for me, either. I had the same crisp bottom, fat soaked top. I ended up putting the bread in a baking pan and baking it until the top was crisp. Then I took a tiny bite and ran away as fast as I could so I wouldn't eat it all!Your chicken looks delicious and I am jealous of your chicken liver because mine only had 2 gizzards and no liver.

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