Serves: 4 to 6 • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 1 day brining
A classic dish that any French chef (strike that—any chef, period) should master, roast chicken doesn’t have to be boring. The dish is traditionally made with the chicken cut into pieces, but this version presents the whole bird to the table for a show-stopping centerpiece with a wallop of flavor.
- ½ cup plus 2 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus sprigs for serving
- 5 sprigs of thyme, chopped
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- One 4 lb. chicken
- 6 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 Tbsp. tarragon, minced, plus sprigs for serving
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1. The night before, brine the chicken: in a large bowl, combine the ½ cup salt, sugar, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns with 6 cups cold water. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
2. Wash the chicken inside and out, then pat dry with paper towels. Carefully place the chicken in the brining bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate and allow to brine overnight.
3. Remove the chicken from the brining liquid and pat dry with a paper towel. Allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the 2 remaining teaspoons salt with the mustard, shallot, tarragon, garlic, and pepper to make a paste.
5. Carefully loosen the skin on the breast with your hands. Rub half of the mustard mixture under the skin and the remainder in the interior cavity. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper over the outside, then truss the bird.
6. Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and canola oil, then transfer the chicken to the skillet. Brown the chicken in the skillet, about 4 minutes per side.
7. Carefully remove the chicken from the skillet. Coat it with breadcrumbs, then transfer back to the skillet and roast in the oven until cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. If the top starts to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
8. To serve, stuff fresh parsley and tarragon sprigs into the cavity and carve.
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