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roast chicken 01

Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Croutons and Greens

Servings 4


  • One 3½ to 4-pound whole chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • One small loaf crusty bread (14 ounces), preferably sourdough torn into bite-size pieces (see Note)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lemon halved, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 head of garlic halved crosswise
  • 3 Rosemary sprigs
  • 6 cups torn winter greens such as Lacinato kale and radicchio
  • 1 large celery stalk thinly sliced on the bias, plus ½ cup bright green celery leaves
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


  • Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken, then pat it dry inside and out with paper towels. Generously season all over with kosher salt and black pepper. Set the chicken on a large plate and let sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight for best results.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and brush all over with the melted butter. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • In a large cast-iron skillet or roasting pan, toss the bread with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the lemon halves, garlic and rosemary into the bread. Set the chicken on top and roast for about 1 hour, or until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird reads 160°. If your chicken is browning too quickly, loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Do not tent with foil—this will create steam and compromise the crispiness of the skin. Your chicken will continue to cook while it rests.
  • Discard the rosemary sprigs and reserve the roasted lemon halves. Squeeze the roasted garlic over the croutons, then add the greens, celery and celery leaves while the skillet is still hot. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the roasted lemon over the top. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  • Carve the chicken (see Note) and arrange on top of the bread salad. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve right away, passing more lemon wedges at the table.


If you have time to salt your chicken overnight, consider tearing up your croutons the night before and letting them sit out overnight to crisp up. This recipe is also a good use for stale leftover bread.
For a step-by-step guide on how to carve a roast chicken, check out this easy-to-follow (and totally hypnotic) video from Jaques Pépin
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!