You can make this with just chicken breasts—use bone-in, skin-on— and you may want to use a toothpick, or two, to secure the skin over the bacon once you slip the bacon underneath it. Also, the cooking time will be shorter, so monitor it and take the chicken out of the oven when the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degrees, the juices of the breast run clear and the skin is crispy and lightly golden.

Serves 4


For the maple marinade and chicken:
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. minced, fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), innards removed

    For roasting the chicken:
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chicken stock, for basting
  • 10 large sprigs fresh rosemary

    To marinate the chicken, whisk together the stock, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, salt and thyme until combined. Coat the chicken inside-out with the mixture and place in a resealable gallon-size plastic bag, emptying any excess marinade into the bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

    To roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the chicken from the bag, rinse off any excess marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the bird down with 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, inside and out, getting under the skin of the chicken breast while taking care not to tear the skin. (To do so, gently lift the skin off the breast with one hand and, with a small paring knife in the other hand, carefully cut through the fat membrane that runs down the center of the chicken breast, taking care not to puncture the skin. Once the membrane has been cut, you should be able to place your hand under the skin of the entire front of the chicken, rather than under just one side or the other.)

    In a small bowl, whisk together the maple sugar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 3/4 teaspoon of the rosemary and the black pepper. Coat the chicken, inside and out, with the spice mixture.

    Cut 2 of the bacon slices in half. Wedge them flat under the breast skin of the bird, so the 4 strips of bacon lie side by side under the breast skin.

    Dice the remaining 2 strips of bacon. In a bowl, toss together the diced bacon, onion, olive oil, remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup, remaining 3/4 teaspoon rosemary and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt until combined. Empty the mixture into a small roasting pan and pat down to create a bed. Pour stock into the pan until it is 1/2-inch deep.

    Place the chicken in the pan, breast facing up. Place 2 large sprigs of the rosemary in the cavity of the bird and place the remaining 8 in the pan around the chicken. Truss the bird. Tent the entire pan with tin foil, making sure none of it touches the skin.

    Roast, rotating the pan once to ensure even cooking, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the internal temperature of a thigh reaches 165°. Remove the tin foil-tent for the last 20 minutes of cooking to allow the skin to brown slightly.

    Allow the chicken to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

    Text excerpted from Adventures in Chicken, © 2016 by Eva Kosmas Flores. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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