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Roasted Chicken with Croutons

By Katie Lee Biegel


This one is Katie Lee Biegel’s favorite recipes from her best-selling cookbook, It’s Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Everyday. She states, “If there is only one recipe you make from this entire cookbook, make it this one. I think this dish is the reason Ryan (Biegel) first fell in love with me. We were pretty early on in our relationship and we spent the day watching—what else—Nancy Meyers movies. We had a fire going and I had bought some Gruyère cheese bread from the local bakery, Breadzilla. That evening, I roasted this chicken with croutons…It was pretty much the perfect day.”



For the chicken and croutons:

One 4- to 5-pound (1.8 to 2.3 kg) roaster chicken

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 head garlic, sliced in half

½ yellow onion

1 baguette

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Dijon mustard, for serving

For the bistro salad:

1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

Handful of chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon, and parsley (about ÂĽ cup/13 g)

House Dressing (recipe follows)


Make the chicken and croutons:

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). When hot, put a cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat for about 5 minutes.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Generously season the chicken inside and out with the salt mixture. Stuff the chicken cavity with the thyme, rosemary, garlic, and onion.

Slice the baguette on the bias into five slices, each 2 inches (5 cm) thick. Spread some butter on one side of each slice. (Note: you may be tempted to use more than five slices, because you will have room for more. Resist the urge, because you want the bread to become fully soaked with the juice of the chicken. More slices and there won’t be enough juices, leaving you with rather lackluster croutons.)

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and arrange the baguette slices buttered side down in the center of the skillet. Place the chicken on the baguette slices, making sure all of the bread is covered by the chicken. Roast until the chicken is golden brown, an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F (74°C), and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove the baguette slices from the skillet and set aside

Make the bistro salad:

Combine the lettuce and herbs in a medium bowl. Toss with dressing to taste. Carve the chicken and serve with the baguette slices, mustard, and salad.

Dressing: This is my go-to salad dressing. The ratio to remember is 1 part acid to 3 parts oil. You can use white wine vinegar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar—any acid you like to any oil you prefer—olive oil, avocado oil, you name it. I like a little honey to balance it out, but a pinch of sugar or maple syrup works as well. If you want to make a single serving for one big salad, just do 1 tablespoon vinegar to 3 tablespoons oil, with Dijon and honey to taste.


1/3 cup (75 ml) red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup (240 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

***from Interview Magazine 

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