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Roasted Chickens with Bacon

Roasted Chickens with Bacon
Slices of bacon are draped over the chickens as they roast, adding a salty savoriness to the meat. Watch the bacon carefully during roasting; if it becomes too dark, tent the birds with aluminum foil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chickens, each 4 to 4 1/2 lb.
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 to 16 bacon slices
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced shallots
  • 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbs. chicken demi-glace
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • Champ for serving (see related recipe at left)

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.

Blot the chickens dry with paper towels. Rub the back sides with olive oil and season on both sides with pepper. Place the chickens, breast side up, and tuck the wings behind the breasts. Drape the bacon slices over the breasts.

Place the chickens, bacon side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours; tent the chickens with aluminum foil if the bacon becomes too dark. Transfer the chickens to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Discard all but 2 tsp. of the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and warm the reserved fat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, then whisk in the demi-glace and broth. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the thyme and butter.

Carve the chickens and arrange on a warmed platter. Drizzle with some of the sauce and pass the remaining sauce alongside. Serve with champ. Serves 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.