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The Bread Bed

November 5, 2010
Everyone in SoupAddict’s household loves chicken, kitties and humans alike. And in SoupAddict’s experience, there’s not a better-slash-simpler technique to ensure a juicy chicken, through and through, than roasting (aside from sous vide … but we won’t go there … at least not today).

So, SoupAddict was not the least bit surprised that Around My French Table included a roast chicken recipe (three, actually). And when she saw the title of this recipe, translated as Roast Chicken for Lazy People (Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux), SoupAddict knew author Dorie Greenspan was on to something: it was as though Dorie wrote this recipe just for SoupAddict. Or at least named it for her.

But, the real delight here is not the chicken: it’s the bread. SoupAddict had no idea what the deal was with the bread when she assembled the dish, so the surprise was extra nice. No matter how you roast your chicken, you should try the bread thing. It’s amazing.
Seasoning a roasted chicken does not have to be complicated. Use your favorite herbs and, of course, salt. SoupAddict’s herb gardens are still going strong, and she has plenty of fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary.
Preparing the chicken. First you pet the chicken dry.

“Nice, chicken.”

“Niiiiiiiiice, chicken.”

Oh, wait, the instructions said to pat the chicken dry. Makes more sense, as this method would’ve taken a while.

[Skips ahead in the instructions to see what’s next.]

Oh, dear.

“Niiiiiice chicken! Gooood little chick-chick-chicken! Absolutely nothing unseemly happens next. No, sir.”

Now, never you mind what’s going on here, little chicken. Never you mind.
Believe me, nobody’s on the winning end of this task.
Stuff the herbs under the skin you just loosened around the breasts.
(I don’t know why, but I’m suddenly having a flashback to prepubescent junior high school, with the stuffed …. Hnnn, nevermind.)
And now for the salt. Salt the bird well. In fact, when SoupAddict roasts chicken, she normally uses only salt as the seasoning. Believe it. It’s true. Salt is your friend.
Cover the bird, and refrigerate for several hours. Overnight’s better.
The recipe says to put bread in the bottom of the pan. Weird. So, SoupAddict took this photograph only because it seemed the thing to do.
Place the chicken on top of the bread bed, breast side up. Remove the herbs from under the skin and place half of them inside the bird’s cavity and the other half scattered around inside the pan. Add a little white wine and olive oil. The whole thing goes into the oven for about 90 minutes. No basting, no turning. Just leave it be.

Goodness knows you’ve already gotten personal enough with the fowl by now.

‘ey ‘o!

To be certain the chicken is done, check the temp in the thickest part of the thigh (don’t hit the bone – it will be hotter than the meat). It should be 180°F.
SoupAddict removed the bird from the dutch oven to carve it, and then peered curiously into the depths of the pan to examine the bread bed. Again, weird. And Dorie says to eat this?

SoupAddict flips over one piece: the one side is sort of soggy-looking (top); the other, crispy and crackly.

Uh, okay. Puzzling.

“Trust the Dorie, trust the Dorie.”

Then she takes a bite.

The verdict?


Best. Thing. Ever.

“But what about the chicken?”

Chicken? What chicken? SoupAddict doesn’t know from chicken. She only knows bread.

Bread roasted in pan drippings. Bread. Bread. Bread.


This post is participating in French Fridays with Dorie, a blogging project where we cook our way each week through the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Around My French Table. Given the book’s newborn status, we’ve been requested to not post the recipe. SoupAddict hopes that you’ll understand and will perhaps be inspired to either buy the book or seek out a recipe of a similar nature to try on your own. Or better yet, join us on French Fridays with Dorie!
  1. November 5, 2010 9:25 am

    Your step by step pictures are great! I mad ethe chicken too and we sure loved the bread!!

  2. November 5, 2010 9:32 am

    My recipe said to roast the chicken at 450 degrees (F). I love how you showed your photos. Your bird looks lovely.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 6, 2010 4:20 pm

      Yes, thanks for correcting me – it’s 450. The memory ain’t what it used to be….

  3. November 5, 2010 10:25 am

    Oh, I totally am with you on the bread!!! Now I want to roast a whole mess of chickens just to have more BREAD!

  4. November 5, 2010 11:10 am

    Yum Yum Yummmmmyyyyy!!!!!!!! I want some!!

  5. November 5, 2010 11:11 am

    I don’t about loosing weight with that bread in there, but it sounds absolutely delightful. I like the tip about the herbs under the skin. I’m always in a quandary about how to get the most flavor from them. Roast chicken is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and I will definitely give this recipe a go!
    Thanks much!

  6. November 5, 2010 11:27 am

    Wow this looks frighteningly good. Neat post!

  7. November 5, 2010 11:28 am

    Looks delicious!

  8. November 5, 2010 11:30 am

    Ha ha ha aha…I guess you shouldn’t judge your food by the way it looks. Glad you were brave enough to try it and that you enjoyed it. I don’t know if I would be brave enough myself. Kudos!


  9. November 5, 2010 11:31 am

    OK, as a woman with MAJOR texture issues, I’m not sure about the bread. But I will try. Maybe next month. Or perhaps next year…

    But I love love LOVE the voice in your writing! Seriously funny stuff. Congrats on a well-deserved Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  10. November 5, 2010 11:38 am

    mmmmmmmmmmmmm…… the photos

  11. November 5, 2010 12:02 pm

    I love how you have written it, had me cracking up laughing throughout the whole post.

  12. November 5, 2010 12:07 pm

    Chicken and herbs? Very good.

  13. November 5, 2010 12:10 pm

    Amazing recepy!

    Vanessa Rima

  14. Susan permalink
    November 5, 2010 2:01 pm

    Darn… just did a baked chicken with lemon and fennel Sunday, this is next! I soooo look forward to your writing.Can’t you come work at King Arthur Flour? 100% employee owned! You would be joining a great team of bloggers!

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 5, 2010 2:24 pm

      Ooo, fennel – I bet that was delicious! Work at KAF? How awesome would that be! For me at least. Until my cookie and cake decorating skills were tested. And then I’d be booted from the kitchen. (Of course, I’d have to be dragged out kicking and screaming, and I’d be grabbing at all of your ankles … no no no don’t make me leave!. An embarrassing display, really. 😉 )

  15. November 5, 2010 2:05 pm

    I loved your step by step pictures

  16. November 5, 2010 2:30 pm

    I love a good roasted chicken but I have never tried it with bread on the bottom. Does this mean I should forgo veggies in the pan?

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 5, 2010 2:38 pm

      No, absolutely not. Here, I used a dutch oven that was a tad too small for the whole set up, but, if had used a slightly large one, I’d put only enough bread for the chicken to sit on, and then spread the veggies around the sides. With the olive oil and wine (or water), there should enough pan drippings to flavor both the bread and the veggies.

  17. November 5, 2010 2:32 pm

    that looks so good *drool*

  18. Jennifer Barricklow permalink
    November 5, 2010 2:44 pm

    Clearly, the recipe needs two additional steps:

    23. Discard chicken.
    24. Remove bread from bottom of roasting pan and chow down!

    Mmmmmmm! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the lovely photos! And hearty congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    • November 6, 2010 2:37 pm

      Perhaps this should read – 23. Serve chicken to kitties….

      Love the step by step photos! I heard Dorie on NPR yesterday with a whole roast pumpkin recipe which had me wanting to read the book! Your post has me wanting to cook every recipe.

      I too ove the voice in your writing. It had me giggling, instead of posting on my own blog.

      • SoupAddict permalink
        November 6, 2010 4:33 pm

        If Dorie was making the stuffed pumpkin, oh my goodness, that’s the recipe you should try, too. Before the chicken. That pumpkin dish is without a doubt my favorite so far – I’ve made it twice already, and I’m going to be posting about it next week!

        • November 6, 2010 7:59 pm

          It was the stuffed pumpkin, and just listening to her and Michele Norris had me drooling. Looking forward to your post!

  19. November 5, 2010 3:01 pm

    Looks amazing! Great photos–makes me really want some chicken for dinner. =)

  20. Grace Chung permalink
    November 5, 2010 3:26 pm

    For someone who grew up with woks instead of ovens, roasts are a bit of foreign ground for me. But you made this look delish, welcoming and simple! I just might try it…

  21. November 5, 2010 4:41 pm

    I just wanted to let you know, I think I spent half the day reading all your posts. I just stumbled upon your blog today. You are way too funny…. to boot, my belly is screaming all day long…. burkey melt!!! (oh, and the carmelized onion cheese sandwich, oh my!!!!!)

  22. November 5, 2010 5:15 pm

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the name of this post was, I just want to eat the bread!

    Ahh…Soup Addict, we truly are sisters from different parents…

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:07 pm

      I agree!

  23. November 5, 2010 5:26 pm

    Hmm, hmm, good!

    I’ll definitely share this with my husband, who grows rosemary for his special kitchen concoctions.

    Thanks for the wonderful step-by-step photos!

  24. November 5, 2010 6:06 pm

    This was a wonderful idea. I love baked hen and your recipe, though not told, I think I can figure from the pictures. Thanks! The bread idea I like also.

  25. November 5, 2010 6:16 pm

    Sounds yummy! Will try this weekend. Thank you!

  26. November 5, 2010 6:45 pm

    Great post! Loved the pictures and the writing. Very nice! Looking forward to the bread again!

  27. November 5, 2010 6:54 pm

    I love roasted chicken, especially in the fall and winter when the smell of it cooking lingers longer in the cool air. Think I will make the chicken on Sunday. I like easy dishes like this that I can put in one pan, inn the oven, and forget all about it till it’s done!

  28. November 5, 2010 7:01 pm

    A terrific post! Thanks. And I’m so happy you love the goopy bread.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:09 pm

      It was so sweet of you to stop by and leave a comment!

  29. cookiemomma permalink
    November 5, 2010 8:09 pm

    I want the bread too! We can eat the chicken later 🙂

  30. November 5, 2010 8:34 pm

    Loved your post. It put a smile on my face! Really appreciate the step-by-step pictures.

  31. November 5, 2010 9:02 pm

    Looks and sounds so delicious!

  32. November 5, 2010 9:09 pm

    Can’t wait to try this one out!!!!

  33. November 5, 2010 9:14 pm

    YUM! The fall weather in NY is perfect for this. Great writng and step-by-step pictures to help a new cook (not me) not feel so intimidated. I’m passing this along to my daughters-in-law! Can’t wait to read more.

  34. November 5, 2010 9:47 pm

    Fatastic post. Hilarious and awesome photos. Enticing recipe. Congrats of getting pressed! You definitely deserve to be.

  35. macleandowdy permalink
    November 5, 2010 10:14 pm

    i kinda have a food crush on you. i feel like i at least owe you dinner or a nice bottle of wine. : ) i found you through freshly pressed – i’ll be back!

  36. November 5, 2010 10:49 pm

    I love your post and you know what? I had a piece that was soggy and another more crisp as well and WASN’T IT DELICIOUS?!
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  37. November 5, 2010 11:39 pm

    mm loooks sooo delicious!

  38. November 6, 2010 12:08 am

    Love, love, love it! I’m trying to eat healthy foods so I’ve been living on boneless, skinless chicken breast. I’m going to the market tomorrow and your recipe is on my list.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  39. Christine permalink
    November 6, 2010 4:20 am

    The bread would be the kind of thing you eat before you serve the meal so you don’t have to share. Looks wonderful.

  40. November 6, 2010 4:24 am

    ‘nice chicken’ (pet pet)…’niiiice chicken’ HAHAHAA! that was too too cute! 😀

  41. November 6, 2010 4:32 am

    You are too funny! I was so enjoying reading your post, that I feel compelled to go back and read from the beginning. I love when I encounter entertaining and well-written blogs:)
    And I can relate – I am soup addict too (I even got my American husband addicted to soups:)
    I am so intrigued by this crispy bread-soggy bread dichotomy. I am roasting the chicken next week and cannot wait to see for myself where it will lead me:)

  42. November 6, 2010 4:33 am

    Looks yummy, thanks for the recipe.

  43. November 6, 2010 4:58 am

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and writing so delightfully I can see just why!

    I usually save all the juices separately and use them for soups etc but this sounds like breadly chicien heaven. Fantastic blogpost!

    My next petting chicken will get this treatment – in fact might have to go out and get one today… 🙂

  44. November 6, 2010 7:31 am

    If this is what your cat gets to eat, what do I need to do to get adopted?

    I would make a good garden helper in the summer 🙂

    Another perfect post!

  45. November 6, 2010 11:03 am

    As a breadlover, and a lover of good fun, this post was great.
    Congrats of being Freshly Pressed. It’s a great experience 🙂

  46. November 6, 2010 11:42 am

    It’s posts like this that make me seriously consider giving up vegetarianism… great post – I loved the pictures. Looks like a great meal.

  47. saoghal permalink
    November 6, 2010 1:38 pm

    Your post cracked me up! Best recipe ever read. And hopefully the best recipe ever eaten. I will definitely have to try it! Thanks for such a rad post!

  48. Rita Vanbeber permalink
    November 6, 2010 2:50 pm

    about how much wine and olive oil would be used for average size chicken?

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 6, 2010 4:25 pm

      Hi Rita – I used enough olive to thinly cover the entire bottom of the pan (and then the bread went on top of the oil). The recipe calls for 2/3 cup wine – I did a “one-mississippi-two-mississippi” measurement – probably about 1/3 cup, but I was using a small dutch oven, and no vegetables in the pan.

  49. November 6, 2010 3:06 pm

    Definitely tempted to follow your directions…!

  50. November 6, 2010 3:17 pm

    wow that looks delicouse emmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  51. November 6, 2010 4:09 pm

    A wonderful post–great pictures and a lovely voice in your writing–such fun! I had a pot of homemade soup ready to go for dinner but suddenly roasted chicken won’t leave my mind…and congratulations too, from one freshly-pressed blogger to another!

  52. November 6, 2010 6:15 pm

    Love it

  53. November 6, 2010 7:30 pm

    Love your writing style! I was wondering wth the bread would end up like and can imagine the swoon factor 😉

  54. November 6, 2010 7:33 pm

    this looks amazing!

  55. November 6, 2010 9:48 pm

    I’ll have you know I was laughing and drooling while reading this. So much so I ordered the book.

    BTW, best roasted chicken I ever had included stuffing the bird with finely chopped onion, carrot and celery and then laying the chicken down on whole carrots and celery.

    The chicken was damn good but those carrots at the bottom. Oh my, they were spectacular. They absorbed all that chickeny goodness and tasted phenomenal.

  56. November 6, 2010 11:10 pm

    LOL – I get the strong impression taht the bread part is good. I am making this for dinner tonight, so I will take your word for it and eat the bread, no matter how scary I thibnk it looks.

  57. November 7, 2010 4:18 am

    This is so not fair – your post made me droole all over my keyboard and I can’t even make the recipe because I have NO oven.
    Am living in Beijing and very few apartments come with ovens – the Chinese don’t seem to roast or bake (except Peking Duck and that is best left to the experts). What a great blog I’ll be a regular reader, needless to say I found you through Freshly Pressed, jolly well done!

  58. November 7, 2010 6:49 am

    Oh, you are a very very funny person. I laugh with you.

    I’m definitely gonna keep a copy of this recipe—if only because you convinced me with your, er…chicken fondling.

  59. November 7, 2010 12:39 pm

    This sounds like a great way to make chicken. What is the temperature of the oven? I am seriously considering this book.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 7, 2010 5:04 pm

      Oven temp is 450 degrees F, for about 90 minutes. Cook uncovered, but keep an eye on the chicken and if it starts to brown too quickly, put the lid on, or lay a piece of foil over the chicken. I love this cookbook. It’s like it was written just for me (which means not everyone will necessarily like it. 🙂 ). Every recipe has been a hit (how often can you say that about a cookbook?) – I’m making another dish tonight for dinner from the book: braised curry lamb stew.

  60. November 7, 2010 2:03 pm

    Lovely! I can’t wait for the bread bed. And I just have to say that everything about your posts always makes me happy.

  61. JenniferP permalink
    November 7, 2010 2:04 pm

    This looks gorgeous and delicious. Love your blog!

  62. November 7, 2010 2:58 pm

    Goodness, I just accidentally drooled on myself….. 🙂

  63. Nancy permalink
    November 7, 2010 5:30 pm

    Yum, yum, yum. I do believe cooking is your bliss. Congrats on a wonderful blog!

  64. November 7, 2010 5:52 pm

    I want chicken!!! 🙂

  65. November 7, 2010 5:54 pm

    Great blog! 🙂

  66. November 7, 2010 6:21 pm

    I read this yesterday and found myself returning today. It just looks absolutely delicious! I’m thinking that a baguette would probably be perfect for this – to avoid it becoming too soft/soggy. Anyway, I want to start gathering the ingredients so that I can try this. Thanks!

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 7, 2010 9:04 pm

      A baguette would be perfect!

  67. November 7, 2010 6:33 pm

    When I see food that stick to pan bottoms I remember my mom as she loves those stuff, burnt rice, things that stick in the casserole, even rice cake residues. I thinks the due the fact the flavours are concentrated more on those location thats why a lot of people are loving it. I will try this one out and looks like I will be enjoying it.


  68. November 7, 2010 6:48 pm

    That has to be the most unusual chicken stuffing session i have ever seen what’s all that about 2 slices of bread in the bottom and all the herbs under the skin, sounds a bit eccentric to me but the finished product looks good enough to eat lol.
    Joking aside Karen i have no doubt from the finished photos that the chicken (and the bread) were delicious and my wife is going to try this next weekend thank you for the recipe and keep up this excellent blogpost

    Regards Paul.

  69. November 7, 2010 7:25 pm

    Ok, YUM! I wish I would have read this BEFORE I cooked my full chicken today. I will be saving this recipe for next time (already parked in the freezer). Thanks for the recipe and great photos!

  70. Susana permalink
    November 7, 2010 7:28 pm

    I think this looks quite awful. Millions of chickens and turkeys suffer in factory farms and in assembly processing lines! Not only that but the hormones and antibiotics they are fed daily is consumed by those who eat them! They are also genetically altered to grow twice as big twice as fast in order to meet consumer demands. prone to heart disease and other injuries due to their being too heavy for their age and ability to support that amount of weight.

    I don’t know why more people aren’t aware of this Please visit this link to see how badly they suffer:

    If you have to eat meat, please eat organic!
    Thanks for listening.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 7, 2010 9:10 pm

      Hi Susana, I totally hear you and understand. I purchase my meat from local farmers who raise their animals in open pastures (I know, because I visit their farms). Not everyone has that luxury, but … small steps.

  71. November 7, 2010 8:16 pm

    This made me salivate like no other. Yumm!

  72. Jan permalink
    November 7, 2010 9:38 pm

    Definitely motivating me to get back into the kitchen!

  73. onewetfoot permalink
    November 7, 2010 10:37 pm

    Fantastic photos. I completely agree with you about the bread. So good it was more of a star than the chicken!

  74. November 7, 2010 10:51 pm

    Your writing is fantastic! And so funny! Now I will go read some more of your blog. By the way, I love roasted chicken. I might have to try this.


  75. November 7, 2010 11:34 pm

    Love your step by step photos and so glad to know the bread is so good! Can’t wait to make this!

  76. November 8, 2010 12:15 am

    cool!! love it

  77. November 8, 2010 8:46 am

    Great pics.

    What if you roasted breat side down. Juices flow to to the white meat.
    Be sure to let bird rest 20 minutes before carving.

    Bread I am sure was divine.

    Back acha’!

    • SoupAddict permalink
      November 8, 2010 9:27 am

      What I normally do is roast the chicken breast side up so the skin gets nice and crisp and brown, and then after roasting, remove the chicken to a cutting board, breast side down (to let the juices run back to the breast meat), for 15 minutes before carving, like you said.

  78. November 8, 2010 9:30 am

    It’s amazing how good things happen when we’re brave enough to experiment! Great photos and style. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  79. November 8, 2010 10:02 am

    sounds and looks very tasty. I would gladly translate into Russian for my granny.

  80. November 8, 2010 10:02 pm

    Sounds delicious! I loved the photos and your writing style!

  81. November 9, 2010 3:50 am

    An alternate method of making a chicken juicy is to cook a beer can chicken. You can read about one I prepared not too long ago at Food By DB.

  82. November 9, 2010 1:37 pm

    LOL, i loved the bread ,though mine didn crisp at all, but so delish ,by friday id have made this twice and totally love this easyy peasy dish!!
    SO so good!!

  83. November 9, 2010 3:09 pm

    Lovely photography and clear instructions. Glad I found this blog!

  84. Skinny Cook permalink
    December 9, 2010 7:00 pm

    Soup Addict, I adore you. But surely that wasn’t cooking wine. Good Lord, darling Soup Addict – it is salt-laden stuff. Perhaps I’m mistaken but if not let me send you a nice bottle of white wine to cook with.

    As for the chicken, if you can get Murray’s certified humane chicken where you live, do give it a try. It is divine. Spendy but divine. It actually does taste like chicken.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      December 10, 2010 12:39 am

      You have eagle eyes! Guilty as charged (hangs head,shuffled feet). I rarely have wine in house. Real wine. And I usually forget to look at recipes before I go shopping. D’oh!

      • Skinny Cook permalink
        December 10, 2010 7:42 am

        You are forgiven, of course! *HUG* And now I know what to get you for Christmas. Meanwhile, I think I bit of dry vermouth might work better in a pinch. Just my opinion. Take care, dear!


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