roasted chicken with croutons

I was away last weekend for my anniversary and came home Sunday afternoon to my daughter in the kitchen with a plan for the week. Literally had the week planned out to what we were eating each night last week. One of her plans had me starting dinner since I work from home because making a roasted chicken during the week is not always the best idea, that is if you wanted to eat at a “normal” time ya know before your bedtime in all.

Yes I know there are ways to make a whole roasted chicken in a short amount of time and I have made several of them and will continue to do so and roasted chicken is one of my top 3 meals to make and eat. But during the week most people try to make meals that you can get on the table in under an hour with very little prep.

I wish I was super organized to meal prep every Sunday but I/we are not. Sometimes I am just not in the mood to make anything all week long. That means pulling leftovers out of the freezer, my husband making spaghetti or burritos or if we are lucky omelets. It still cracks me up for all the things I can make pretty well I must say, omelets are not one of them. Mine are usually pretty ugly and always have color on them; which is a no no.

Back to this yummy chicken, it is pretty hands off and full of flavor so if you are going grocery shopping today maybe pick up a roaster and give this a try. My go-to brand is Bell and Evans, you won’t be disappointed. If I ever see them on sale I buy a couple of them and put one in the freezer for later.

The recipe my daughter had me follow was from her new cookbook from Smitten Kitchen.

roasted chicken with croutons

a crispy skinned, juicy flavorful chicken over crunchy croutons.



  • 1 large loaf of crusty bread I used sourdough
  • 6-7 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 pound roaster chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • thyme fresh is best, dried if you don't have any
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper


  • juice of the lemon you zested for the chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup green olives roughly chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb sliced very thin
  • 4 ounces firm, leafy lettuce escarole



  • cut the bread into 1 inch thick cubes. Coat a 9 by 13 inch roasting pan or baking dish with olive oil. Arrange the bread all around the bottom of the pan. Place the garlic cloves between the bread pieces throughout the pan. Drizzle the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt and the black pepper.


  • Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper, plus the lemon zest. If using fresh thyme, trim a few sprigs and sprinkle over the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half and toss it into the bird and as well as a few sprigs of thyme. Place the chicken on top of the bread and add a ½ cup of water to the exposed bread, so it won't dry out before the chicken starts to release its juices. Roast for about 2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 155° or the thigh reads 165°

finishing the croutons

  • When the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board allowing the juices to drain over the croutons and then cover loosely with foil. Using a spatula flip the croutons over and return them to the oven for another 15 20 minutes while the bird is resting. You are looking for them to crisp so depending how wet they were it could take longer.


  • While the chicken is resting, the croutons are crisping. You can make the salad dressing for the salad. Combine the lemon juice with the Dijon mustard in a large bowl, and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the olives and fennel toss to combine. Set aside until right before serving. Add the salad greens and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.


  • Remove the croutons to a platter, shmear the garlic onto the toasted croutons. Place the salad on top of the croutons. Carve the chicken and arrange the pieces on top of the salad and croutons. Pour any juices from the cutting board over the chicken and serve immediately.

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