Chicken Roasted with Garlic-Herb Crème Fraîche | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Crème fraîche and fresh herbs produce a richly browned bird by Olia Hercules

Chicken Roasted with Garlic-Herb Crème Fraîche

Appears in March-April 2021

1¾ hours 45 minutes active, plus refrigeration and standing time

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.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t leave the herbs damp after washing them. Be sure to dry them well or the moisture may cause them to become watery when processed. Don’t use a glass or ceramic baking dish. A metal baking pan is best because it’s a good conductor of heat and is guaranteed not to crack when water is poured in midway through roasting. A 9-by-13-inch pan is perfectly sized for the chicken; in a larger pan, the drippings are apt to scorch because of the greater surface area. Finally, make sure to remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 1 hour before roasting. This will help it cook more evenly.

1¾ hours

45 minutes active, plus refrigeration and standing time

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