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French Fridays with Dorie: Roast chicken for les paresseux

I was excited to see Dorie’s Roast Chicken for les paresseux (for lazy people!) (pp200-201) on the list for this month’s French Fridays with Dorie recipes.  In our house, Neil is the master chicken roaster – we roast a chicken at least once a month – but he never really seems to follow a recipe. Mostly, I don’t know what’s going on in the kitchen when this chicken roasting is taking place (it’s a small kitchen and when one of us is cooking the other tends to go elsewhere in the house) except that there is always a lot of butter. Ever since we learned the “shove the butter under the chicken skin” technique in Culinary Arts 1 at George Brown College last year, we’ve fallen in love with the crispy skin and the moist meat that this technique produces.

I was mostly excited because for things like chicken which scare me (yes, I am not a fan of the raw meat), I always feel I need a recipe and Neil’s “a bit of this and a bit of that” don’t really help me out much (this is why he is always in charge). When I showed Neil the recipe, he said “Oh that’s what I always do – but where’s the butter?” and took charge. I told him to follow the recipe despite what he wanted to do (i.e. use tons of butter).

It turns out that we couldn’t follow the recipe to a “T” because Dorie calls for you to rest the chicken on a piece of baguette that will then soak up the juices and crisp up in the oven. Perfect for smearing the chicken liver onto (which you are supposed to leave inside the bird while it cooks too). We had neither baguette nor the liver (is it awful for me to say I was somewhat relieved?) so Neil improvised, resting the bird on some potatoes and onions.

We ended up eating the onions and potatoes  – they were roasted to perfection under the bird – though Neil missed the liver smeared on crispy baguette…

You might be wondering why the photo at the top of the post is not a picture of the whole bird. Well here’s the thing.  Dorie’s recipe calls for the bird to cook at 450F for the entire time.  Our bird was tiny so Neil started it on high for about 20 minutes and then lowered the temp to 400F for the remainder of the cooking time.  When it was done, the juices ran clear but the top was not as crispy as I personally like it.  So I put the broiler on (mistakenly “high” instead of “low”) and poured myself a glass of wine and set the table. Ahem. Yes, our little birdie got a bit *too* crispy in a couple of parts and I just wouldn’t want to post that since it’s not what Dorie suggested and it misrepresents the deliciousness that was the dish.

Yes, even without the tons of butter shoved under the skin, this was a delectable meal. And next time: 1. I will make it all myself and 2. I will not deviate (much) from the recipe. So glad I have a recipe now :-)

Want to join in the fun? Join French Fridays with Dorie here and follow along on Twitter.

A few people have asked for recipes for the French Fridays with Dorie entries.  The group does not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we would prefer it if you would purchase the book yourselves (you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!)

If you’re from Ontario, did you check out my Taste the Season giveaway yet?  Closes November 21st.

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45 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Roast chicken for les paresseux

  1. Kimba's Kitchen November 19, 2010 at 07:05 #

    That is one very good looking roast chicken!!

  2. eatgreek.net November 19, 2010 at 07:09 #

    well…. you made me hungry! it looks delicious!! :D

  3. claudia lamascolo aka pegasuslegend November 19, 2010 at 07:28 #

    This looks fabulous! love the color of this chicken!

  4. Belinda @zomppa November 19, 2010 at 07:50 #

    Absolutely lovely! This the time of year for roast chicken.

  5. cat November 19, 2010 at 07:51 #

    oh that looks delicious! i too am a fan of the shove butter under the skin method, but this one looks like it produces just as tasty a meal and might even be better for those of us who are hopelessly les paresseux. ;)

  6. Mr. Neil November 19, 2010 at 08:14 #

    I must admit I also deviated slightly in that I added some dried Herbs de Provence, mainly tossed over the veggie bed, before roasting.

    And re the broiler incident: keep your hands away from my roast chicken! ;-)

    It should be notyed this passed the most important “Cleo Test”: she was at my feet demanding some when it came time to carve…always a good sign. (She approved.)

    • Steve November 19, 2010 at 20:46 #

      This sounds very good, but I have to say without tasting this bird that I am still partial to the “butter under the skin” preparation from Mr. Neil. Seeing this though, is still making me hungry.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 21, 2010 at 18:21 #

      Yes yes. Lesson learned. But delish nonetheless.

  7. ayngelina November 19, 2010 at 08:32 #

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but your site makes me wish I weren’t traveling so I could make some of this food!

  8. foodwanderings November 19, 2010 at 10:26 #

    This recipe and pics want me to make it for dinner tonight. Love Fridays w/Dorie and always look forward to what you guys come up with. Happy Friday. Shulie

  9. Liana @ femme fraiche November 19, 2010 at 10:32 #

    hmmm a roast chicken for lazy people? clearly this one is made for me….I’m the laziest person I know:) hehe sounds delish Mardi

  10. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 19, 2010 at 12:06 #

    Beautiful! I’ve been doing a lot of chicken roasting lately. It’s the perfect meal when the weather is cold, if you ask me! Yours looks beautiful!

  11. saltyseattle November 19, 2010 at 12:14 #

    while i’m hung up on the urban dictionary meaning of roast chicken (don’t google it, trust me) this rendition is enough to make me lust after it again…

    Also, taking some time today to tell the people I care about how much they mean to me. You’re firmly ensconced on that list. xo, linda

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 21, 2010 at 18:19 #

      Oh I was following that tweet conversation Linda and I don’t think I will even go there! Glad this looked tempting to you and hey – thanks. You too.

  12. rebecca November 19, 2010 at 12:31 #

    Looks goorrrgeous!!!

    This was my favourite recipe so far. The bread did it. That delicious oil-soaked bread.

  13. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels November 19, 2010 at 12:31 #

    Your chicken looks soooo delicious. I love how you roasted the chicken on top of the onions and potatoes, YUM! I’m like Neil and love putting lots of butter on the roast chicken when I make it!

  14. tia November 19, 2010 at 13:29 #

    yummy! nice job on making this healthier.

  15. Krissy November 19, 2010 at 15:34 #

    When I was a younger cook, I has issues with touching raw meats. I remember my first T-Giving turkey…I had to have the neighborhood kids help me out. I gave the orders and they did all the touching. They had a great time, got to taste the finished bird…which was delicious, by the way, but they thought I was mental. It was probably another 5 years before I could actually handle the raw turkey, pull out all those bags of yuk, and get it into the oven. Now I just turn off my brain around raw meats and get it done. I know, I am mental! But I do enjoy the finished product.

  16. Jen Laceda November 19, 2010 at 17:11 #

    Looking good….

  17. stephirey November 19, 2010 at 23:40 #

    I was a little skeptical too that there was no butter in this recipe…but it turned out so great! I flipped my bird for about 20 minutes to let it rest while I made the rest of dinner and the breast was so juicy, I couldn’t believe it. I love how you posted “edited” pictures…leaving out the broiler mishap! Very nice post.

  18. Pam M November 20, 2010 at 01:55 #

    I have been roasting chickens for years, but now, thanks to a very thoughtful daughter, I now have Dorie’s beautiful book. Thankfully I am not too old to change my ways, so this chicken recipe will be my first to try from my new book. I’m with Neil, a little butter is necessary under the skin.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 21, 2010 at 18:17 #

      Well you should try this way too and see how you like it without all the butter. And you’re welcome xox

  19. My Restaurants Melbourne November 20, 2010 at 06:42 #

    This chicken looks amazing, so tender looking, the butter is definitely worth it

  20. Allison November 20, 2010 at 21:27 #

    I’m freaked out of raw chicken too. Congrats on facing your fears. I’m quite glad I faced mine!

  21. Lana November 21, 2010 at 04:12 #

    What I could see, looks great:) And we all had our moments with red wine…

    I improvise like your husband, and raw meat does not scare me. This chicken is the only dish I have not made, which is entirely my husband’s fault – he is in charge of procuring the chicken, and he has been procrastinating.

  22. Conor @ Hold the Beef November 21, 2010 at 08:09 #

    I can imagine Neil sneaking into the kitchen, keeping his back against the wall and looking around to see if he’s been spotted, butter hidden in a little butter pouch ready to sneak into the unsuspecting bird (while the Beverly Hills Cop theme plays, of course).

    • Mr. Neil November 21, 2010 at 11:22 #

      No, it would be the John Barry Orchestra, my dear. Or possibly Karl Orff – if we’re feeling especially dramatic! ;-)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 21, 2010 at 18:16 #

      LOL that is too funny.

  23. Tami November 22, 2010 at 17:22 #

    Don’t worry about French Friday’s………its gonna be French Everyday With Dorrie now that my lovely new book turned up in the letterbox yesterday (Monday)……to go with Foodies Friday that turned up in time for the weekend!!

    Almost even lost it…….one of my friends tried to sneak it out the door…..it’s on her shopping list now after I gave her the ordering details.

  24. Paula November 25, 2010 at 16:29 #

    I love a roast chicken but I’ve never cooked one on a bed of anything. This looks wonderful and if you didn’t understand French, the title of the recipe *Roast Chicken for les paresseux* makes it sound as awesome as it looks. :)

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