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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux - French Fridays with Dorie

Why do things sound so much better in French? Roast chicken for les paresseux sounds romantic, whereas chicken for lazy bums...well, not at all romantic.
It's one of the great mysteries of life. I'm very satisified to go through life with this unsolved mystery, as long as it means I can continue eating chicken for lazy people. This recipe alone is worth the cost of the book.
I will add, however, that the French version of laziness is considerably more ambitious than the American version. When we're feeling lazy, we get takeout or Hamburger Helper--we don't peel vegetables, stuff fresh herbs in chicken, plop said chicken down on two slices of a baguette, and then make a pan sauce. In fact, doing all that might be considered a fairly ambitious dinner, but if makes the French feel better to call it "lazy," I'm all for it.

My chicken was only about half the recommended size--just a little over two pounds, and the two of us ate about half of it, so a four-pound chicken would serve four if appetites were quite hearty. I cut down on the oven time because of the size of the bird, and so my vegetables were a bit al dente. I just covered the dish with foil and put it back in the oven while I let the chicken rest and made the sauce.
Umm, that sauce. It was actually a little more than the promised "only ... a little"--plenty to bathe the chicken pieces and to drizzle over the vegetables if you were so inclined. It's very full of flavor and rich, so you don't want to ladle it on anyway.
And then there was that magnificent bread! Foolishly, I almost ignored the instruction about placing the raw chicken on two bread slices. It just seemed like a somewhat mannered extra step. But I am so happy that I did, so happy that I used two slices instead of one, and so sorry that I decided to share with Jim. Although it's a good thing I ran out; otherwise, I would have just kept eating.
Normally I'm a white meat person, but the legs looked so perky and attractive that I had to take one off and eat it as an appetizer before I sat down for dinner. Crusty, juicy, and completely delicious, it was enough to convert me.
I don't like to repeat meals--there are so many new recipes waiting to be tried--but I think I could happily eat this chicken once a week forever. Perhaps because I am one of Les Peresseux. Or, as I prefer to think, I am one with good taste.


  1. OH MY GOD! this is going to be good... I have schedule for Thanksgiving.. and now you wet my appetite!

  2. Monica,
    It's SO GOOD. And my advice is to be completely selfish with that crisp, flavor-infused bread.

  3. Beautiful beautiful dish! I had no idea you are in FFWD :).
    Marie, mine didn't have a lot of sauce like yours, so then I cheated, added some chicken stock to the pan and scrape off all the brown/black bits. I also used my de-fatter too (looks like yours).
    I used a small chicken too (2 lbs) but I cook it the same amount of time - the result was super super tender.

  4. Jenn,
    Well,it's partly because of you. I'd check your blog and see these gorgeous pictures of delicious-looking food, so I ordered the book. I don't link to this blog on the Heavenly Cake site because that one's just for Rose.

  5. I'm making the chicken next week and I have to say you have my mouth watering now! Yum! I also probably would have side stepped the bread. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Allison,
    Thanks--I'm hoping to make the potatoes this weekend. Yours looks great, as does your semolina cake.

  7. Marie, you crazy lady, a third blog? I like it! I made this chicken this week, too. The bread. So good!

  8. ECL,
    Keeping track of 3 blogs is almost more than I can do, but it's fun to do some cooking for a change. I felt like I was in danger of becoming the crazy old baking lady.
    Hmm. Maybe I still am.