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bunch dill, leaves and stems, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
bunch flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
cup crème fraîche
pound whole chicken, patted dry inside and out
tablespoons lemon juice
My grocery stores do not carry creme fraiche. I note you are not recommending substituting sour cream. What about whole fat Greek yogurt? Goat cheese?
Hi Susan -
Unfortunately full-fat Greek yogurt has even less fat than sour cream so it won't work here either. You can actually make your own creme fraiche at home: mix together heavy cream and buttermilk, and let it sit at room temperature until it reaches its desired thickness (around 8 to 24 hours).
The Milk Street Team
Has anyone adapted this for chicken breasts? Thanks!
I did it with 3 boneless chicken breasts. Baked for about 25 mins. Turned out great!
I do not have that sized metal baking pan. I do have a ceramic baking pan which is broiler-safe, so I don't think it would crack when water is added. While I'd like to make the dish, it doesn't make sense to me to buy other pan. Is metal that important for the end result?
Hi Katherine -
I checked in with the recipe developer who said a ceramic baking pan would not be recommended here. Not only are there worries about the material cracking from the change in temperature, but metal is a better conductor of heat than ceramic or glass. Therefore, the chicken cooks more evenly from top to bottom in a metal pan.
The Milk Street Team
I ended up using a stainless steel sauté pan. I'm glad I didn't purchase a special pan for the recipe. The crème fraiche mixture kept sliding off the chicken (which I had dried well). After loosening the skin on the breasts and legs, I put the crème fraiche under the skin. The final sauce was very tasty but I'm not certain it'll be a repeat bid.
This was EXCELLENT! Loved it. I made it with what I had in the fridge, so not the exact recipe, unfortunately. I bet it will be even better when I do it with the right ingredients! I didn't have fresh dill, so used 2TBSP dry. I also didn't have creme fresh, but did have buttermilk. Subbed that - seemed to work great. I used 3 boneless chicken breasts. It was scrumptious. Warning - you will have garlic breath! And you will be grateful for it - this dish is worth it.
We eat roast chicken a lot. This was just OK.
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I can't understand the previous comments; this was sublime and I roast a lot of chickens. Just delicious.
My daughter had a meal planned for tomorrow night so after smushing the creme fraiche/garlic/herb mixture (with some added fresh basil that would otherwise have gone to waste) all over the chicken I am going to have to wait another 20 hours--i.e., it will be about 40 hours from smushing to roasting. The recipe says 2 hours up to 24 but my daughter comes first. Pray for me.
Well, that was a disaster. I followed every step EXCEPT I let the chicken sit in the fridge for 48 hours instead of up to 24. My fault. Something came up the day I was supposed to roast it and took a chance. After roasting, the meat was somewhat rubbery, the herbed creme fraiche left clumps all over, and the dill had saturated the chicken to the point of making it taste dill-pickled. I found the meat only borderline edible and the skin awful. The good news is what happened next. I threw away the skin and bones, chopped the meat, mixed in chopped celery and mayo, and had one hell of a good chicken salad. I sometimes use fresh dill in my chicken salad so it didn't taste strange at all, the garlic punched things up, and the odd texture of the meat wasn't even noticeable. It was one of the three or four best chicken salads I've ever had. So there's that. I'm not sure if I'll make this again (the correct way) because of the texture issue. Maybe.