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Chicken Roasted with Garlic-Herb Crème Fraîche
In “Summer Kitchens,” Ukraine-born Londoner and cookbook author Olia Hercules writes, “Chicken smothered and baked in cultured cream is an old classic, but sometimes I like to go one step further.” So she packs bold flavor into crème fraîche by mixing it with fresh herbs and garlic before slathering it onto a whole bird. In this recipe, our adaption of her simple yet succulent pot-roasted chicken, we coat the bird inside and out with garlicky, herby crème fraîche and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before roasting. The crème fraîche not only adheres the garlic and herbs to the bird, its high fat content helps with browning and adds flavor. (Sour cream, which is much leaner, is not a suitable substitute.) Hercules shreds the meat off the bones after cooking, but we like to serve the chicken carved, its richly browned skin adding to the flavor and overall allure. We also make a simple sauce to serve alongside.
bunch dill, leaves and stems, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
bunch flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
01In a food processor, combine the dill, parsley or cilantro, garlic and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Process until the herbs are finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add the crème fraîche and process just until combined, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed; do not overprocess. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for making the sauce. Scrape the remainder into another small bowl and refrigerate until chilled and slightly thicker, about 30 minutes; this portion will be used directly on the chicken.
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