Million Dollar Chicken

22 Reviews 4 Pics
  • Prep

    20 m
  • Cook

    1 h 20 m
  • Ready In

    1 h 50 m
Chef John
Recipe by  Chef John

“This chicken is roasted on thick slices of sourdough bread and slathered with a creme fraiche glaze. It looks like a million dollars. When you combine the chicken with that sticky, drippings-soaked bread, you're talking about at least a million-dollar taste.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 1 whole roasted chicken



  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Season inside of chicken cavity and the back generously with salt and black pepper. Squeeze lemon halves into cavity and drop squeezed peels inside. Stuff cavity with garlic cloves and fresh thyme; add a bay leaf to cavity.
  3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into a heavy roasting pan. Place sourdough slices into pan and press slices lightly into olive oil to help coat bottom of bread. Drizzle 1 more tablespoon olive oil on top of bread slices. Place chicken on top of bread slices and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Brush outside of chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season entire outside with salt.
  4. Bake chicken in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  5. Mix creme fraiche, grated shallot, and Aleppo pepper together in a small bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons lemon juice and lemon zest into sauce. Refrigerate until needed.
  6. Lift chicken off bread slices using a tongs and flip the bread slices over (they will be very brown). Place chicken back onto the bread slices. Generously brush the outside of the chicken with creme fraiche sauce, putting enough on to drip down onto bread slices.
  7. Return chicken to oven and bake for 10 more minutes to brown the glaze. Repeat, brushing more creme fraiche sauce generously onto the chicken. More is more. Bake 10 more minutes. Remove chicken from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching bone, should read 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).
  8. Pour remaining creme fraiche glaze into a small skillet, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Stir constantly, cooking until the shallot is cooked and sauce reduces slightly, 1 or 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
  9. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut bread pieces in half crosswise. Cut chicken up into 8 serving pieces (drumsticks, thighs, wings, and breasts) and serve with pieces of drippings-soaked toasted bread. Drizzle thickened creme fraiche sauce over chicken and garnish with chopped chive blossoms.

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Reviews (22)

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Excellent and easily the richest roasted chicken dish I have ever had. What makes this dish is the bread that sits under the roasting chicken. I could eat that alone, but I think I would die from acute gout :) I had no fresh thyme, so I subbed a tablespoon of dry thyme. I could not find Aleppo peppers at my market so I just skipped that entirely. Other than that, made this to a "T" and it was a hit. I put cut up red potatoes around the bird at the start and brushed them with the excess olive oil. Served it along with a wonderful Chardonnay and stuffed eggplant..... YUM!!!!! Thanks for making us feel like millionaires for a night Chef John!



I'm glad Mauigirl posted that she could not find nor did she use the Aleppo pepper. A substitute could have been used but was not. It is good to know that a simple teaspoon of the pepper did not make or break this terrific looking and sounding chicken. I do not know what an Aleppo pepper is or where to find it. I too will be leaving it out. I am sure dried Thyme was not an issue either. Sometimes we just have to go with what we know and have on hand. Thank you Mauigirl for your post.



OMGosh, this is truly the best roasted chicken I have ever had! I too left out the Aleppo pepper and used dried thyme.

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Amount Per Serving (6 total)

  • Calories
  • 687 cal
  • 34%
  • Fat
  • 47.9 g
  • 74%
  • Carbs
  • 15.5 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 49.9 g
  • 100%
  • Cholesterol
  • 200 mg
  • 67%
  • Sodium
  • 334 mg
  • 13%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Chef John's Salt Roasted Chicken


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Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic