Some type of roast chicken is offered on the menu of nearly every traditional bistro. Here, it is stuffed with thick pieces of bread that have been liberally buttered and rubbed with garlic. The finished stuffing, saturated with the fragrant meat juices, can be served alongside the cooked meat.
- One 4-pound roasting chicken
- 6 whole cloves garlic, plus 2 cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin
- 1 day-old baguette, sliced into strips about 5 inches long and 1 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup veal stock or chicken stock
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken thoroughly with water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper to taste.
Cut 1 of the whole garlic cloves in half. Rub the cut sides of the clove over each baguette strip. Cover the strips on all sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, make at least 12 small incisions in the skin on all sides of the chicken. Slip 1 thin garlic slice into each incision, between the skin and the meat.
Rub the inside of the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter, and press the remaining thin garlic slices against the cavity walls. Stuff the bread strips into the chicken cavity and, using kitchen string, truss the chicken by tying the legs together before tying the legs and wings tight against the body. Tuck the 2 thyme sprigs between the chicken thighs and body.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side down. Place the lemon halves alongside. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and turn breastside up. Scatter the remaining 5 whole garlic cloves around the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn breastside down and roast 10 minutes longer. Add the water to the roasting pan and continue to roast until the juices run clear, or when the thigh joint is pierced with a knife, about 10-20 minutes longer.
Transfer the chicken from the roasting pan to a cutting board. Snip the strings and remove them. Remove the bread from the cavity. Arrange it around the edge of a serving platter or place it in a separate dish.
Carve the chicken into 8 serving pieces and arrange them in the center of the platter, or place the whole chicken on the platter to carve at the table.
Remove the lemons from the roasting pan. Place the pan over high heat, squeeze the lemons into the pan and deglaze by stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the veal or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small serving pitcher.
Place the pitcher of sauce alongside the chicken and serve at once.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
596 calories; 20g total fat; 196mg cholesterol; 380mg sodium; 30g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 70g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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