Roast Chicken with Maple-Bacon Confit

Few things are more comforting than a classic roast chicken. When I have a whole bird to cook, I almost always go with a simple salt / pepper / lemon / herb preparation and throw it in the oven. Once in a while though, I get inspired and give the humble bird some special treatment. This is one of those happy times that the end result far exceeded my expectations. The bacon, shallots and garlic caramelized at the bottom of the pan and created somewhat of a bacon confit. It is pure decadence, and a wonderfully simple way to make a roast chicken fancy and special.

This dish earned Simon’s “Top 10” status. While he definitely loves my cooking and knows that he eats really well, this is not an accolade he throws around unless it’s well deserved. Translation = it’s a must try. For other recipes with the Simon stamp of approval, see recipes tagged with Shmooper’s Top10. (Yes, our names are Simon and Simone, and we call each other Shmoopers. Totally understandable if that makes you a bit nauseous.)

This recipe, like many roast chicken recipes, works best in a French oven with the lid off. The walls of the vessel conduct heat all around the bird, which creates a crispy skin and juicy meat.

Pastured chickens tend to have larger legs and smaller breasts.

Everything goes into the pot - simple!

Perfectly browned skin

1 whole pasture raised or organic chicken
4 strips (~1/4 pound) nitrate free bacon
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 t sea salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 T maple syrup

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a cast iron French oven or roasting pan, place the bacon, shallots and garlic.
  • Rinse and dry the chicken.
  • Salt and pepper the chicken and place on top of the bacon, shallots and garlic, breast side up.
  • Roast uncovered for 45 minutes, then flip the chicken so it’s breast side down.
  • Roast 30 minutes, flip once more and add the maple syrup to the pan. Mix with the liquid that is already there and brush over the chicken.
  • Roast 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and the internal temperature reaches 165°.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes and carve. Place on a serving dish and spoon the bacon confit over it.
  • Cooking this dish in a French oven resulted in the result you see below. If your chicken is cooked, but the bacon isn’t quite caramelized, remove the chicken and drain any excess fat. Continue to cook the remaining ingredients while the chicken rests for another 10 minutes or so, until the bacon and shallots are nice and brown.

Chicken with Maple-Bacon Confit

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