4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, slightly softened
½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, chervil, basil or cilantro
1 teaspoon table salt or fine sea salt
½ teaspoon dried garlic flakes
1 whole small chicken, about 3½ pounds
1²⁄³ cups cubed day-old bread
Note: The chicken can be buttered and stuffed up to a day in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mash together the butter, herbs, salt and garlic flakes.
3. Put the chicken breast-side up, neck end facing you, on a clean work surface. Slip a clean hand under the skin, starting at the base of the neck, and work your hand further in gently, lifting the skin over each breast and down over each thigh, without tearing. Once the skin is loosened, slip in two-thirds of the herbed butter (reserve the rest for the croutons), pushing it under the skin to coat the breasts and thighs evenly.
4. Add the bread cubes to the remaining herbed butter and stir to coat. Stuff the buttered cubes inside the cavity, and tie the chicken with kitchen string around the drumstick ends and wings to hold its shape. Put the chicken breast-side up in a baking pan, preferably on a rack. Roast for 20 minutes.
5. Loosen the chicken gently from the rack or the bottom of the pan. Flip to expose the back and baste with the juices. Roast for 20 minutes more. Loosen and flip so the breast faces up again, baste with the juices and roast until the skin is golden brown and crackly, a final 20 minutes (longer if the chicken is more than 3½ pounds). A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should register 165 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Carve the chicken and serve with the croutons and cooking juices.
Per serving: 751 calories; 33g fat; 13g saturated fat; 293mg cholesterol; 76g protein; 33g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 2g fiber; 1,217mg sodium; 121mg calcium
Recipe from “Tasting Paris” by Clotilde Dusoulier