Why You Should Start Roasting Chicken On A Bed Of Croutons

Is there any poultry dish more homey and satisfying than roast chicken? We're inclined to say no. Whether brined overnight with herbs, simply prepared with butter and salt in the manner of Julia Child, or basted with milk for a super-tender result, roast chicken makes for a meal that's both visually appealing and palate-pleasing with the bonus result of a kitchen filled with the rounded aromas of roasting fat and softening vegetables.

A straightforward dish that requires little more than salt and a roasting pan in its most pared-down form, roast chicken is seemingly infinitely versatile with fresh and dried herbs, fresh citrus, vegetables, and even fruits and nuts all common additions to simpler preparations (via Delicious). You may have tried all of these and more, but if you've never roasted chicken over a bed of bread, then you're going to want to grab your nearest day-old loaf — stat.

Roasting chicken over bread creates delicious, flavor-packed croutons

If you've ever made homemade croutons, then you know that there are few things more delicious than good bread that's tossed in fat, sprinkled with salt, and crisped in either a pan or the oven: Some cubes turn out crunchy, some turn out a bit chewy, but either of them is the perfect addition to a classic Caesar salad or a warm bowl of tomato soup. But if you think olive oil or butter-soaked croutons are delicious, then hold on to your hat because croutons doused in all the homey flavors of a roast chicken are even tastier.

Various recipe outlets, including The New York Times, America's Test Kitchen (ATK), and Food52, all recommend grabbing some high-quality, day-old bread, tearing it into chunks, piling it at the bottom of a roasting pan, and then roasting a chicken over the bread. The method, as Food52 reports, produces chunks of bread deliciously imbued with chicken-y flavor. Some are crunchy, some are soft, but all make a wonderful complement to juicy chicken as well as any bitter greens, such as arugula, that you pile alongside the finished chicken dish (per ATK's suggestion). So the next time you plan to roast a chicken, add a loaf of great bread to your shopping list, too, and prepare to chow down on the best croutons you've ever eaten in your life.