The chickens we had in France were insanely good. Even the chickens sold in the grocery stores were exceptional. But I especially loved seeing the rotisseries at the farmers markets. I’d literally start salivating as I watched the chicken slowly rotate on the spit while its juices seasoned the potatoes below. And the best part was that the meat in France was always fresh and organic—a major plus. I’m not a fan of antibiotics so try to eat organic as much as possible, especially when it comes to chicken.
So I had to wonder . . . Should I even bother trying to recreate a recipe for French rotisserie chicken? I mean, how can you perfect perfection? But after a little research and many chickens later, I think I may have unlocked the secret to tender, succulent, mouthwatering chicken. But here’s the kicker—you won’t need a rotisserie to achieve it. The secret is brining and butter.
Brining the meat first is key to locking in juices. And don’t judge me— but the ungodly amount of butter in my recipe adds tons of flavor as well. I don’t generally cook with a lot of butter, but if I want to compete with the French, let’s face it—it’s a must. Just follow my easy brining recipe along with the recipe below and you’re on your way to poulet rôti parfait every time. Bon Appetit!
Roasted Dijon Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes and Gravy Recipe
Fingerling Potatoes and Gravy Ingredients
2-2 ½ lbs. fingerling potatoes (or any small potato medley)
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 carrot cut in chunks
1 onion cut in chunks
1 celery stalk cut in chunks
½ teaspoon Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet
Roasted Chicken Ingredients
One 4-5 lb. brined chicken rinsed, patted dry, giblets removed
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (the brining adds salt so I recommend unsalted butter)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 extra sprig of rosemary and thyme for cavity
2 extra sprigs of rosemary for breasts
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
More salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan, toss the veggie chunks and potatoes with the garlic, rosemary, EVOO, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Scatter veggies and potatoes into a single layer to create a bed for the chicken.
In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, Dijon, shallot, rosemary, thyme, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. With your fingers, slather the butter mixture under the skin, inside the cavity, and over the top of the chicken. Add the extra sprigs of rosemary under the skin of the chicken breast for added flavor. Add the other sprig of rosemary and thyme into the cavity. With kitchen string, tie the chicken legs together. Place coated chicken breast side up, on top of the veggies and potatoes. Brining the chicken does add salt but I still season the outside with a little S and P—about ½ teaspoon more salt and ¼ teaspoon more pepper.
Place chicken, potatoes, and veggies in oven for about 1 hour for 4 pounds or 1 hour and 15 minutes for 5 pounds. Roast until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F and juices run clear. The potatoes should be soft with a good amount of juice in the bottom of the pan, and the chicken skin should be crispy golden brown.
Transfer the chicken to another dish, cover with foil, and allow it to rest about 15 minutes before carving or eating. I like to transfer my potatoes to another baking dish and continue roasting them until they’re crispy— about 10 more minutes at 425 degrees, but that’s up to you.
To make gravy, transfer the veggies to a food processor along with the strained pan juices. Add ½ teaspoon Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet and blend till smooth. Transfer gravy to a small saucepan and keep warm on stovetop. Gravy will be thick so add a little water if needed. Serve your succulent chicken with fingerling potatoes and gravy.