Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

I used to be one of those that was surprised when people said, “I don’t have time to cook.” To me, cooking and shopping for ingredients, which take the better parts of my days, has always been a pleasure for me rather than a burden. However, now I get it. Making dinner after a long day at work can be a challenge. In France, people don’t get home from work until 7 or 7:30pm, and not everyone wants to put on a kitchen apron when they get home and get moving on dinner.

Even during the lockdown, when we found ourselves having more time around the house, I was busier than ever. It was a challenge tracking down ingredients, and cooking all the time led to lots of dishes. I was also doing my best not to let anything go to waste, which meant that instead of tossing radish leaves, I made radish leaf soup. A bag of lemons that started looking past their prime became jars of lemon curd. And a compunction to update older blog posts (and photos) as I revisited them during the lockdown, from French Chocolate Mousse Cake and Carrot Salad to Cosmopolitans, it’s no wonder after the lockdown ended, I felt like I needed a vacation!

Until that happens, this Caramelized Shallot Chicken is a low-stress dinner and very easy to make for this recipe adapted from French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis, a friend who teaches cooking classes in France. The only real work is mincing a few shallots. Everything else is done in the oven. Even better, there are hardly any dishes to wash afterward. You just toss chicken pieces in olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and shallots in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and pop it in the oven. While baking, the shallots get crispy-sweet and caramelized, and since it only takes about 45 minutes to bake, you have time to mix yourself a drink, like a Sidecar or a French Manhattan.

One thing to know if that the French generally cut a chicken into eight pieces, not six. The breasts are cut in half crosswise (not lengthwise) and the wings are left on the tips on the breast pieces, as shown below. If you buy a whole cut-up chicken, I recommend cutting the bone-in breasts in half with a chef’s knife or asking the butcher to do it.

Although it wasn’t in the original recipe, I added a splash of soy sauce, which is one of the secret ingredients in many dishes, even in French cooking. At a restaurant in Lyon that is widely known for their ‘top-secret’ salad dressing, I ate there with a chef friend. The first thing we said after we tasted it?—Soy sauce.

So I added a bit to the sauce, which gives this dish a savory-salty umami taste—which in French, I believe, is called je ne sais quoi. Feel free to change around what vinegar to use. Balsamic may not be sharp enough, and perhaps too sweet (although if you like it, you could certainly give it a try), but apple cider vinegar would be nice, as would be sherry vinegar, which is often my vinegar of choice for a vinaigrette.

Aside from its utter simplicity, the other great thing about this dish is that aside from the chicken, you likely have the other ingredients in your pantry. If you don’t keep shallots around, you might want to reconsider that. Because once you taste it, you’ll want to be able to make this at a moment’s notice, as I often do.

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots
Print Recipe
Serves 4 to 6
Adapted from French Farmhouse Cookbook (Workman) by Susan Herrmann Loomis I use a whole chicken cut into eight pieces; two legs, two thighs, and I cut each breast piece in half, crosswise, keeping the wings attached. You could also just use eight of your favorite chicken pieces. The shallots I used were about the size of an unshelled walnut. The total weight of the four shallots is about 6 ounces (170g.)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 large shallots, peeled and minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
one generous handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC.)
2. In a large baking dish, one which will hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, mix the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, shallots, and some salt and pepper.
3. Toss the chicken in the mixture so they’re completely coated with the shallots. Turn the chicken pieces so they are all skin side up.
4. Roast the chicken until it starts to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Turn the pieces of chicken over. Scrape any juices and shallots over the chicken that may be clinging to the pan, and bake for another twenty minutes, or until the pieces of chicken are cooked through and the shallots are well-caramelized.
5. Remove from oven and toss with the chopped parsley.

Serving: Serve with roasted or steamed vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta, or a green salad.

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Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

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  • Oliver
    March 13, 2010 7:55am

    Hmm, sounds tasty. Sometimes I make a similar one, with bacon, garlic and cheese under the skin.

  • March 13, 2010 7:58am

    Ah soy sauce, the saviour of so many dishes. Mind you, here in England, one would nearly as often use marmite.

    Really half a chicken per person? I know I’m stingy with meat, but HALF A CHICKEN EACH? Jeez…

    Dish sounds ace. Bookmarked. :-)

  • Rebekka
    March 13, 2010 7:59am

    I do probably 90% of the cooking. My husband does about 90% of the washing up, including loading and unloading the dishwasher (which besides washing your dishes for you is a fantastic hiding place for dirty dishes!). Works for me.

  • March 13, 2010 8:03am

    You’re right – this sounds just too easy not to make (and too delicious!). Love the addition of soy sauce.

  • March 13, 2010 8:16am

    yummmmmmmmm. they look great.

  • Eelco
    March 13, 2010 8:26am

    Well obviously you scrape the bones of the chicken because the most tasty meat is the one close to the bones. My preferred meat is on the inside of the carcass and yes it takes some time to get it out ;-)

  • March 13, 2010 8:28am

    roasted chicken with shallots is one of my favorite meat recipes. It’s so easy to make and always tasteful. I love to add some grenailles potatoes in the pan, and serve this with green peas.

    before baking the chicken pieces and even before coating them with the sauce, I advise to put them at the end of a big fork, one by one, and to get them trough the fire of la gazinière, well licked by the flames of the stove. It burns whatever feathers would have been left and dries out the skin humidity for wonderfully crispy results at the end of the time in the oven. My grand-grand-mother gave my mother this trick and I must say it never fails :).


  • March 13, 2010 8:35am

    Eelco: In France, there’s a piece of turkey called sot l’y laisse which roughly means, “The part the idiot leaves behind”. It’s a very flavorful part of the turkey (although to me, it tastes a bit too-gamey…and I like game a lot), but it’s interesting that they name it that.

    krysalia: I love those roasted potatoes, too. (J’adore les pommes rattes.) But I cook they separately since the short cooking time (and the liquid) can keep them from getting crusty and brown. It is another baking dish, but I think it’s worth it : )

    But if you do have a flame, or feel like searing them in a pan, it does give roast chicken that extra je ne sais pas!

  • Katie K
    March 13, 2010 8:42am

    Why do you finish roasting the chicken skin side down?

    • Ella
      May 22, 2020 11:57am

      I’ve been making this since I found David’s original recipe years ago. I usually flip the chicken pieces 1 more time so they’re skin side up and give it another 10 min , that way they’re perfect :) Reply

  • March 13, 2010 8:49am

    I love this idea because each time I try to caramelize shallots in a skillet, they end up getting crispy. Not that I am complaining – those are wonderful, too!

  • Eelco
    March 13, 2010 8:51am

    sot l’y laisse: indeed, but not only in turkey but in all “volaille”
    Getting hungry here…

  • March 13, 2010 8:56am

    This looks great! We both love shallots, but don’t eat them nearly enough. I bet they give the chicken a great flavor here.

    And I hear ya on cleanup. Dishes are the bane of my existence.

  • talia
    March 13, 2010 9:04am

    Looks delicious: and its only 9am so I wouldn’t have thought i’d be drooling over chicken! I love the low dishwashing requirement: if recipes used a symbol to designate the amount of time I’d be standing at the sink, I’d pick a 1 dish meal over a four disher any day!

  • lee
    March 13, 2010 9:08am

    Oooh! I just found that the Indian grocer near my house carries shallots, and so I have some on hand for the first time in years. Now I know what I will be doing with them.

    I use a bit of soy on the outside of the turkey when we roast it. It really does give it that certain something as well as making it look browner than it would otherwise.

  • The Paris Food Blague
    March 13, 2010 9:12am

    It looks good! The soy sauce is surprising.

    Oh! I went to A l’Etoile d’Or, following one of your recommendations. my goodness! That chocolate! And Denise Acabo was just as wonderful and voluble as I hoped she would be.

    à bientôt


  • Martha
    March 13, 2010 9:21am

    Rubber gloves! So THAT’S why you have such nice hands!

  • March 13, 2010 9:26am

    This is the kind of comfort food I love! If more people realized how satisfying this is they would stay home and cook instead of going out. This dish nourishes body and soul. In America I find it is best to buy whole chickens and learn to cut them up, the procedure is simple, quick and saves money. I also look for chickens with the lowest amount of added water or use “air chilled” if I can find it. I agree with shallots being a staple, I always keep some but in a pinch a bit of onion and garlic can be used instead.

    You have really reached me with this post!

  • March 13, 2010 9:36am

    Yummy, yum, yum! This couldn’t be easier, so no excuses right? Thanks David!

  • March 13, 2010 9:47am

    So simple, and looks SO tasty! My kind of recipe! :) Thank you for sharing.

  • March 13, 2010 10:02am

    I could go for a double serving of that right now… perfect food for a hangover that just wont budge!


  • March 13, 2010 10:07am

    Love the recipe! Thanks! I will try making this dish for my family tonight!

  • theresa on Alberta
    March 13, 2010 10:19am

    now this is my kind of recipe, easy peasy and no fancy smacy ingredints

  • March 13, 2010 10:29am

    You had me at shallots! I am making this soon and linking it on my facebook for my friends to see (returning the favor since you linked one of mine, although my link will probably not have the same effect as you linking mine did). You continue to inspire, David and I agree with the whole cooking/washing dishes argument. I love to cook, I hate the clean up, but I’d gladly don a pair of rubber gloves for the chance to be your guinea piggy!

  • March 13, 2010 10:36am

    Ah, the humble chicken. It just doesn’t get much better than that!!!!

  • March 13, 2010 10:37am

    easy and tasty. i mean how hard can that be? i would eat this cold.

  • March 13, 2010 10:47am

    The best part about a roast chicken (after the tender, flavorful meat of course) is the skin. The crispy, yummy skin. Does that sound gross?

  • March 13, 2010 10:55am

    This looks great, and I just found some lovely shallots at my market a few days ago! I really like the idea of adding a little soy sauce.

  • March 13, 2010 11:01am

    How would it turn out if I used skinless chicken pieces?

  • Susan
    March 13, 2010 11:27am

    I had this beautiful salad at a restaurant (The Magic Pan!) years and years ago with orange segments, almonds and these small, thin, pefect rings of onions[?]. Once I discovered they were shallots, I’ve never used onions or scallions again in a homemade salad or on a sandwich. Shallots are the perfect size and the onion flavor mild enough to use raw. It lead me to use them for many other cooked applications too, though I still use gold old yellow or sweet onions in cooking as well.

    I don’t always understand the preference for eating out when cooking your own food is not only enjoyable (unless you have whining picky eaters..grrrrr) but you have control over flavorings, amounts, doneness..sides, whatever, and meals don’t really take that long to make yourself. Clean-up? The cook doesn’t do dishes after the meal in our house; Incentive enough. .

  • judy gal
    March 13, 2010 11:32am

    David, you have the most wonderful sense of humor! And for a very famous chef — you’re just downright friendly! I love your blog and seeing an update waiting to be read makes my day (well, not really but it makes me happy). Continue the fun and thanks for your blog!

  • March 13, 2010 11:33am

    Funny that this recipe is almost exactly like a Chinese dish called “Three Cup Chicken.” For one whole chicken, mix equal amounts soy sauce (I did say “almost,” and I did say it was a Chinese recipe so it bumps up the qty for soy sauce), vinegar (preferably jinjiang) and oil. Instead of parsley substitute cilantro… Shallots are fine. Although the quantity of “cups” may seem like a lot, it’s a euphamism for those Chinese soup spoons that amount to around three tablespoons…

  • Kathy
    March 13, 2010 11:56am

    David, This looks so easy and so delicious that I’m going to try it out for dinner tonight. I also made my way to Orangette (had never been), then on to Amazon to buy Molly’s book and realized I had purchased your book 3 or 4 times for friends but never for myself. So, of course, when Amazon had Molly’s book paired with yours, I had to buy both!

    Thanks for such a nice time on this blog. I always come away feeling like I’ve just had tea with you or a glass of wine in a cafe. You must have crazy readers come up to you all the time behaving as if they know you. I would be right there with them.



  • emily
    March 13, 2010 11:59am

    can you recommend any equally delicious and quick fish or veg dinners?

  • March 13, 2010 12:49pm

    Looks and sound wonderful! I’ll have to try this (I have several loads of visitors around Easter. Sounds like a perfect dish to make on that occasion).

    I don’t mind washing the dishes so much when the eating is good. But would you trust a stranger around your precious utensils? I get nervous when people touch my knives…

  • March 13, 2010 1:10pm

    Well, cooking itself is often not that time-consuming. But if you count having to go gather all the ingredients (and going back out because you forgot something) and doing the dishes, pots and ustensils, it can amount to more time than most people would be willing to put in. I guess when people say they don’t have time to cook, they mean they don’t have time to make elaborate dishes. But, as your beautiful chicken shows, simple can often be tasty.

  • PF
    March 13, 2010 1:21pm

    Thank you for another recipe – I’m sure it’s fabulous.. Can you please tell me what “la gazinière” is – I was unable to translate the term French to English. My assumption is the open flame of a gas stove, and I like the idea of doing that. Merci.

  • March 13, 2010 1:43pm

    Roasted chicken is just one of those super-simple, go-to recipes for me. I don’t often cook a whole one, but use pieces instead.

    About the only thing I do differently is not to flip the chicken over; I just let it bake skin-side up because I adore how crispy the skin gets. A bit of lemon juice in the ‘sauce’ is fantastic, too. If you’re not using soy sauce, a generous application of salt to the skin is quite tasty.

    And anyone who says they don’t have time to pull of this recipe, or a similar one, just doesn’t know how easy it is.


  • Mrs Redboots
    March 13, 2010 2:07pm

    I have to admit I’m with Hazel on that one – I would make that much chicken feed 6-8 people and fill the plate up with lots of fresh vegetables, lightly steamed, and fluffy mashed potato, or just possibly home-cooked chips.

    But that sounds a wonderful way of cooking chicken pieces, and one I shall definitely try very soon!

  • Audrey in Oregon
    March 13, 2010 3:43pm


    I’d do your dishes any day!


  • Janet
    March 13, 2010 3:50pm

    Simple recipes like this one are always the best. Can’t go a week without having some chicken dish.
    Love your blog.

  • Guia
    March 13, 2010 4:37pm

    Very similar to the national dish of the Philippines, the Adobo. Your choice of protein, mix equal parts soy sauce, vinegar, water (or less soy sauce/vinegar, more water to soften meat, all to taste), pressed garlic, ground pepper, 1-2 bay leaves, salt (or none), 1-2 tsp sugar; braise until meat is soft; reduce sauce; or may finish meat in oven, caramelize/brown/fry in its rendered fat. Masarap! with lots of white rice and tomatoes.

  • March 13, 2010 5:17pm

    half a chicken per person? wow, that seems like a lot, but i’m sure you’re right. we americans are hungry people ;)

    chicken looks great and so easy! seems like anyone would have time to make that!

  • Maya
    March 13, 2010 5:40pm

    I have done a type of this chicken all my life with Maui onions (never tried a shallot) the clay makes it taste extra special, of course it never looked as good as the pic above. Question, I am going to Paris for the first time and wondering if I can get a similar dish in a resto there. Please all of you wonderful and dedicated bloggers let me know. My mouth is watering. I threw out my clay pot when it cracked and my kids moved away, but this recipe makes me want to buy another. by the way, if you use one, rinse it in cold water before using it or it will crack. Thanks and mahalo Maya

  • March 13, 2010 6:06pm

    With this dish, I don’t think anyone can use the excuse that they don’t have time to cook…or clean up afterwards. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Alice
    March 13, 2010 6:57pm

    Made this dish (or a version of it) tonight for a friend and I. Accidentally poured in too much soy sauce but evened it out with more oil an vinegar. It was absolutely fantastic.

  • Katie
    March 13, 2010 7:57pm

    I just made this tonight with your simple salad and vinaigrette. It was amazing. Such an easy meal and so tasty. Thanks! :)

  • March 13, 2010 8:28pm

    Thanks very much – that’s dinner tonight all sorted!!

  • Michelle
    March 13, 2010 8:35pm

    Thank-you for giving me dinner for tonight (and many others to come).

  • BarbF
    March 13, 2010 8:36pm

    Timing is EVERYTHING. I was just wondering what to make for dinner. Printed off the recipe, heading to the store, & will be eating this for dinner TONIGHT — YUM!!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • March 13, 2010 8:44pm

    This looks just delicious! I’ve a fat hen in the fridge and am making this for Sunday dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  • annette
    March 13, 2010 9:28pm

    like guia said, this is very similar to adobo of the philippines, with the addition of garlic. we cook it stove top though and it would be interesting to do this roast version.

  • Julialuli
    March 13, 2010 10:52pm

    My house still smells like this gorgeous chicken dish…so fast and easy. However, I’m wondering why mine did not look like your dish. There was so much fat in the pan, there wasn’t a chance for anything to caramelize or evaporate. The chicken was moist and perfect but not browned & not caramelized. Oven at 425 in a stoneware baking pan. Suggestions?

      May 22, 2020 12:44pm

      I do this with Christmas tenderloin. Equal parts sit sauce and oil, but instead of vinegar I use bourbon. Marinate for two days and make a mounted butter sauce with some of the marinade.

      It is outrageously delicious and I want some right now. Reply

  • March 14, 2010 12:06am

    This chicken looks absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to try this out. And thanks for the fact that French chefs use soy sauce, the hubby is annoyingly against this condiment, saying that it is used to disguise bad food taste. hmph! I’m Chinese and I’m always up in arms about this. Now I can sweetly show him this post. :)

  • March 14, 2010 12:41am

    Half a chicken per person?! Are the chickens tiny in France? The Amish fryers I buy for roasting (as per the suggestion in Judy Rodgers’ book) average about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 lb each and I get at least 4 servings out of them if not more.

    Anyway, I love Susan Loomis’s books and am all about shallots and easy recipes, so thanks for this.

  • March 14, 2010 1:47am

    Damn you, Lebovitz! I was happily on my way to becoming a vegetarian, and now you’ve gone and put me in a fowl mood!

  • March 14, 2010 2:16am

    You had me adding shallots to the shopping list at ‘there’s hardly any dishes to wash’. Who on earth is that person who commented their husband does 90% of the dishes? Maybe I’ll skip the chicken and just make myself a Sidecar!

  • Cyndy
    March 14, 2010 3:03am

    Someone mentioned doing this on the stovetop. I would love to have directions for that, as I have no oven.

    And David, those bigger chickens at the Lenoir market and various boucheries (dripping gorgeous fat down upon a drawer of roasting potatoes)… are they actually roosters? I’ve been noticing two different sizes of poultry there, with a big difference in size. Is one better than the other? We’ve bought both, and half a big one seems to be more tender than a whole little one.

    Thanks for this recipe! If I can’t make it here, it’s going back home to the States with me.

  • March 14, 2010 7:03am

    SpecialED: You could use skinless chicken, but the chicken would dry out in the oven. If you’re trying to avoid eating chicken skin, I would simply rub the marinade underneath the skin before baking, then just don’t eat the skin afterward.

    noëlle, Heather, Hazel, mrsredboots: There’s quite a few places in the US where “1/2 roast chicken, with sides” in the standard (bbq, chicken roasters, etc…) I was served this at a taqueria in Texas, and I was served this jumbo serving of fried chicken on a recent trip back to the states. And if memory serves me, I think I ate them all!
    : o

    Julia luli: Much depends on what kind of baking dish you use, and the heat of your particular oven. If you have a lot of bottom heat, you can bake it on the lower rack of the oven. As you can see, I used a porcelain baking dish. If you use a metal one, you could run the chicken under the broiler for a minute to brown the chicken. Or brown them before baking in a skillet.

    Susan: I loved The Magic Pan…especially the crêpe filled with a brick of vanilla ice cream and lots of steaming hot chocolate sauce. I always ordered the chicken mornay crêpe, beforehand, which I thought was so fancy.

    Maya: I don’t know any French restaurants in Paris that cook in clay pots, but many North African places make tagines, which are cooked in clay tagines. Some to check out at Chez Omar (for roasted lamb) and L’Atlas, as well as others.

    Jennifer: I’m with ya!

    veron: Soy sauce (and Maggi) I think are relatively common, even in French kitchens. I’ve even seen a bottle of ketchup (discreetly) stashed away, since they all add that je ne sais quoi (umami) to things, if used in discreet amounts.

  • ron shapley
    March 14, 2010 8:18am

    Hi David… Great recipe…so simple and delicious… By the way, I’m using your blog to learn French.. Amazing !!!

  • March 14, 2010 9:26am

    I love simple chicken dishes. This one is especially interesting with the addition of soy sauce in a French dish! I always prefer shallots to onions. The flavors are much nicer with almost a sweetness added to the dish. I’ll have to give this one a try! By the way, people always have to head home for the evening when they see my kitchen after a dinner party…no one ever wants to do the dishes, but they sure enjoy the food!

  • Mrs Redboots
    March 14, 2010 9:59am

    There were shallots and organic chicken pieces at the farmers’ market this morning – guess what we’re having for dinner!!! With mashed potatoes, I think, and some green vegetables.

    Here, if you go to Nando’s (spicy chicken place – fast food, but VERY nice and no relation at all to those gruesome KFC-alikes) the standard serving is 1/4 chicken. Which I find a lot, but worth it on occasion.

  • DannyDG
    March 14, 2010 11:03am

    This is similar to a Filipino dish called Chicken Adobo, just add equal parts of vinegar, soy sauce and water, add garlic , onion , bay leaf and black pepper to the chicken and let simmer until the chicken is tender, Sometimes I add a little bit of oyster sauce to it. It goes well with rice.Enjoy!

  • Katie K
    March 14, 2010 11:15am

    Encore, David, I ask you and rephrase the question: doesn’t finishing the chicken skin side down make it soggy?

  • Lauren Halverson
    March 14, 2010 11:22am

    Just made this, house smells great!! I must say that American chickens must have a much higher fat content than French ones; I had to drain it off a couple of times to keep this from being chicken poached in chicken fat and to get the shallots to caramelized.

  • March 14, 2010 11:50am

    DannyDG: Another reader mentioned something about that, and a lot of Asian dishes add vinegar and soy and let the meat simmer. I love that salty-tart flavor, too. Sounds like something I should try, too.

    Katie K: Mine didn’t come out soggy, but as mentioned in a previous comment, much depends on variations in ovens and what bakeware is used. I followed Susan’s instructions pretty faithfully, although due to variations, readers and cooks likely know what works best in their own kitchens. For example, my oven has intense bottom heat, so I tend to bake things I want crisp closer to the bottom.

    bunkycooks: In Paris, it’s hard to get people to leave before 2am. Which is okay, and by then, I just want to be left alone with the dishes anyways…and any leftover wine!

    Lauren: I try to buy poulet fermier (farm chickens) which are fairly lean. It sometimes means the meat isn’t as tender when roasted–although I suspect a lot of people here braise chicken, whole, which is how it’s usually served when I’m invited to someone’s house for dinner. But I barely had any liquid in the pan on this batch and was actually tempted to add a splash more vinegar this time.

  • March 14, 2010 12:33pm

    david> oh, les rattes ♥ ! I do use the same dish because I love the “double effect” on the potato : crispy on top, tender and moist in the sauce. But you’re right, to have perfect crispy brown potatoes, the best is to use another pan (and yes, it totally worth it, AMEN :D)

    PF> yes, la gazinière is the cooking station of most french homes : a stove with 4 gas fires (where you can put a pot to boil the water) and an electric or gas oven below.

    My mother (and so do I) usually opens one gas fire on high heat, then she presents the chicken or the chicken pieces inside the flames, and she lets the flames totally “lick” the skin. She stops when the skin looks completely dry, it’s a matter of 10 or 20 seconds per piece. Then when she cooks the chicken in the oven the skin is crispy and nicely brown, never soggy or rubber-like :) .

    emily> I think the french equivalent of this chicken dish but with fish is saithe/pollock* with tomatoes and onions : le lieu noir tomates oignons : Place on a pan some slices of tomatoes and onions, then some beautiful filets de lieu (colin) (saithe) in one layer, then tomatoes and onions again. Add salt and pepper between each layer and finish by little pieces of butter on top, maybe 15 or 20 grammes for the whole. Put in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the number of fish pieces… serve with more melted butter mixed with fresh herbs such as parsley and some lemon juice or lemon zest, in a side bowl (family style) or in la saucière (when you have guests :D), and you can serve some rice as a side dish.

    *(found on the web : “lieu noir” corresponds to the following English terms:
    Pollock (chosen translation), coley, pollack, black pollack, saithe, coalfish”)

    SpecialEd> the same dish with skinless chicken would probably turn the meat to a “sad piece of leather, with shallots sauce”. pretty good if you need to repair your shoes I think, but that’s pretty all you could do with this.


  • March 14, 2010 2:29pm

    Great quote, “When people ask if they can come and help me test recipes, I always say, “Bring rubber gloves!” And that’s the last I hear from them.”

    I’d gladly come wash your dishes to help recipe tasting! The chicken looks great, we’re sitting on 5 pounds of Chili Verde right now, but I still want to make this tonight!

  • Darlene
    March 14, 2010 2:57pm

    Yes, this dish is almost like the Filipino Chicken/Pork dish except it’s missing a head of smashed or minced garlic, and 1/3 cup of vinegar, 2 Tbsp. or more of soy sauce (apple cider or coconut vinegar is preferred. We usually marinate Adobo overnight for the best flavor then boil it the next day over the stovetop. As a final step, either broil the chicken for 10 mins. to get crispy chicken skin or pan-fry the chicken. The sauce is then reduced separately and served over steamed jasmine rice. Try it! I will try your baked version but will definitely add garlic. Thanks for sharing your recipe!


  • Linda H
    March 14, 2010 3:03pm

    I love the French Farmhouse Cookbook.

  • bumblebee611
    March 14, 2010 6:28pm

    David: I know you know this, but please trust that many, many of us REAL Americans out here love your cookbooks, your blog, and your sense of humor, and it’s a special bonus to know that you’re one of the “family.”

  • March 14, 2010 6:48pm

    Are the Brest chickens really as delicious as I’ve heard? If so, I may need to make a special trip.


  • LaJuana
    March 14, 2010 6:50pm

    I did mine this afternoon in a 9 x 9 glass Pyrex and cooked 4 thighs instead of a whole chicken. I was unsure about the sauce so I used the exact measurements, opting to err on the side of too much liquid rather than too dry chicken. I’m glad to read I’m not the only one with extra liquid…but I’ll cook some brown rice to go with it. Flavor is magnificent…can’t let that go to waste! By the way, I started mine skin side down and turned it at 20 minutes. Another 20 minutes with the skin side up it wasn’t brown enough for me so I lowered the temperature 25° and turned the “Speed Bake” fan and cooked for another 7 minutes. Perfection! Extra juice yes but oh so tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  • Meredith
    March 14, 2010 9:06pm

    Made this wonderful dish for dinner tonight and it was so much juicier than even my brined, roasted chickens. The husband in particular was a fan of the addition of shallots and even though I too had leftover liquid, I thought it really added to the dish. We just spooned it over roasted root veggies.


  • March 14, 2010 9:45pm

    I can’t wait until April 6! I’m so ready. David, you are fabulous! Thank you for such a fun blog and amazing recipes.


  • V Bagatti
    March 15, 2010 12:11am

    Just to let you know this dish is everything you said it would be! Filled the kitchen with an amazing aroma. So incredibly simple to make.

  • March 15, 2010 1:28am

    Roasted and Caramelized – by far the tastiest two adjectives.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  • March 15, 2010 1:38am

    in the spirit of not having time to cook I’ve made this dish without having to even cut up those 4 shallots: in Chinese markets you can find fried shallots in a plastic tub and you just shake those puppies onto your chicken and bake away!

  • March 15, 2010 6:05am

    Thank you so much! I do not know a lot of things about blogging, I tried my best..


  • March 15, 2010 6:41am

    Ah! Le Sot l’y laisse . . . there’s a little restaurant near to us. . .just over the line in the 12th named that. I wondered! Thanks for clearing up the mystery.

  • Clara
    March 15, 2010 9:03am

    David, I would gladly wash the dishes in return for a meal cooked by you. I’d even do them just for a desert like that banana upside down chocolate chip cake.

  • March 15, 2010 9:45am

    I love the simplicity of this recipe and can’t wait to try it.

  • Jay
    March 15, 2010 12:18pm

    Oh! Chicken Adobo. In the Philippines there are different ways of cooking Adobo. We sometimes mix chicken, chicken liver & pork and sometimes we use pork belly only. Instead of shallots we use garlic, bay leaf, black pepper, and palm vinegar and the obligatory soy sauce, or if there’s no soy sauce, we use fish sauce.


  • March 15, 2010 1:32pm

    Chicken and caramelized shallots! Looks delicious. Loved the post.

  • Susan
    March 15, 2010 3:18pm

    I made this last night, inspired by the delicious photo. It was a little nerve-wracking because my husband HATES vinegar, but I was so in love with the idea of caramelized shallots . . . anyway, I chose not to mention the vinegar until he started raving about how good the chicken tasted.

    He was stunned (and now I might actually be able to toss our salads with a legit vinaigrette instead of olive oil and lemon juice!) This was a perfect Sunday night dinner – can’t wait to make it again.

  • letitia
    March 15, 2010 8:15pm

    We just had this for dinner. It was sooo delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • March 15, 2010 8:18pm

    Ah, les echalottes! Bring them in, anytime!
    I have never seen/heard of a distinction between fryer vs. roaster vs. ? in France. You mostly get your chicken whole and then ask the volailler to cut it for you if you need to braise/brown it.. but I remember that most chickens we ate were roasted whole.

  • Bernadette
    March 15, 2010 10:29pm

    You had me at the caramelized shallots. . . the rest just adds to it!

  • March 15, 2010 11:43pm

    I have never had the soy sauce in the my baked chicken, but I am definately going to give it a try next time I bake chicken in the oven.

  • March 16, 2010 1:27am

    hi david! i follow you on twitter and your blog and am a great fan. wow, if you cook this ever and invite me, i will gladly bring a pair of gloves (two even!) and was up afterwards;)
    great recipe, thank you. even i can do this. no sweat.

  • March 16, 2010 1:55am

    Holy Goodness that looks good! I can almost smell it!

  • Cheryl
    March 16, 2010 3:12am

    I just made this for dinner tonight. It was astounding, the caramelized shallots were ridiculously yummy and the chicken was so moist (despite my removing most of the skin before putting it into the oven). David, your recipes never disappoint. Merci mille fois.

  • judi
    March 16, 2010 8:35am

    I made this last night and it was wonderful. This morning I woke up and could still smell the deliciousness…

    I know what you mean about cleaning up – I often decide what to have for dinner based on how many dishes/pans are required to prepare the meal. Pasta is my favorite but too many pans – sauce, pasta, strainer, cheese grater – so its not on the menu often.

  • Kristin
    March 16, 2010 8:52am

    I made this today. A few things…pan searing before is a must for me. I didnt do it and just followed the recipe exactly and the result was slimey skin and dry cuisse (thigh). I think the chicken released too much of it juices and did not allow the shallots to carmalize in the 40 minutes of cooking time, bummer. Boyfriend still loved it though (and he’s French so that says alot in my books). I will take a do-over on this one, but no doubt about it, it’s a very simple and healthy recette. Thanks again David.

  • Stephanie
    March 16, 2010 10:26am

    Love shallots. Love chicken. Love easy dinners. I will definitely give this a try.

  • March 16, 2010 11:01am

    this made a lovely quick dinner with a salad and some warm crusty bread. Thanks so much for the recipe

  • Ellie Rogalski
    March 16, 2010 12:52pm

    I look forward to your posts every day. Made the chicken with shallots last night, loved it. I love the wooden salt and pepper cellar in the photos with the salad dressing. Any chance I might be able to find one like that?

  • March 16, 2010 1:08pm

    Ellie: You’d likely have to go to a lot of flea markets in the French countryside to find one, as that one is a few years old. A reader had a woodworker re-create them and left the details in the comments on that post.

    Kristin: Pan-searing is a possibility, but it does make another thing to clean : )

    But you’re right, that browning meat gives it extra flavor.

    Angie: I love those shallots, too, which I think are similar to the canned fried onions they sell in American supermarkets. Which oddly, are produced by a company called “French’s”.

    Although perhaps it’s not so odd because a friend who lives in the south of France brought me a bag from a local producer that were insanely good!

  • Kathy
    March 16, 2010 1:19pm

    I made this last night and the kids loved it. They ate it up. Quick, simply, delicious. I love to find this sort of recipe when I visit your site.

  • wunderschoener
    March 17, 2010 5:50am

    I made this for dinner tonight and we LOVED it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Patty
    March 17, 2010 7:38am

    David, I made this last night with cornish hens. I left them whole and just flipped them a few times. The flavor is wonderful. I’m planning to try this soon with chicken. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • March 17, 2010 8:28am

    I detest doing dishes too, but I hate dirty dishes in the sink more. So, I wash a lot of dishes and will gladly travel to Paris to do your dishes. I swear! It would be a dream. Thanks for the two new mouth-watering recipes that I can’t wait to try: roasted chicken with caramelized shallots and banana-brown sugar ice cream:)

  • March 17, 2010 10:19pm

    Susan Loomis is a gem, no? I missed this, somehow — will have to give it a go. I can very nearly taste it…

  • March 18, 2010 12:04am

    I made this today and this was pretty good! I added a bit of maple syrup, however, and clearly that was a mistake – talk about not wanting to clean. Some irony here. I am chiseling burned shallots off right now! But I loved the sweet touch and the simplicity of preparation. I did decide that mincing the shallots was not a great idea – next time I’ll chop them coarsely, then they will not burn so much. My home-grown chickens need a much longer time to cook than 40 min (mine took at least an hour and fifteen minutes), so that didn’t help the shallots not to burn. But it’s March in Wisconsin and the sap is running – which means that maple syrup goes on everything. My husband liked this and I am happy to have this added to my repertoire. It was even good with a skinnier 4.5 lb chicken (by our farm standards this is by far too small). Normally, the sad said bird needs some sort of a moist heat method.

    By way of cultural exchange, the two chicken recipes that I make all the time and that are superb, are:

    1)5.5 to 6.5 free-range homegrown chicken (will work with storebotten too), skin and cavity dried well, sprinkled with a generous amount of salt and a bit of pepper, then trussed and roasted on a rack first at 450 for 20 min, then for 375 for an hour, and 350 for another 40 min till 175 F. No basting. No extra seasoning. No stuffing Nothing. It’s perfection itself – salty, crispy skin, moist pink flesh, reminiscent of smoked chicken, found the recipe online. Then you rip it apart with your hands and devour it on the spot – it’s so, so very good. Falls right apart.

    2)Kate Hundt the farmwife from a great megalopolis Middle Ridge, Wisconsin made this great chicken I now make:
    Chicken is cut into pieces (back too), drenched in flour, browned in oil while sprinkling with seasoning salt, then placed in a dutch oven or some covered vessel and then baked at 350 for 2 hrs. The gravy is then made with the drippings, flour, water from the boiled potatoes (that are to be mashed), and cream/half’n’half/milk. Everyone’s favorite. Needs a good fat chicken though as well. Life is all about good fat chickens.

  • March 18, 2010 12:09am

    One more thing David – the best thing about this recipe was the new way to cut up the chicken – now it had never occurred to either me or my husband to keep the wing on the breast half. Spectacular.

  • March 18, 2010 8:29am

    I love shallots. I will definitely make this dish. Yum.

  • Evy
    March 18, 2010 12:03pm

    I made this and it came out great. So yummy! Thank you! I love your blog! I learn something new every time I visit!

  • Cool Springs Restaurants
    March 18, 2010 10:25pm

    I love cooking with bananas! I think they are under appreciated for the nutritional value they have and ease of cooking. I really like plantains also.

  • Caroline in San Francisco
    March 19, 2010 12:54am

    I made this for dinner tonight. The chicken was AMAZING! It’s way better than any roasted chicken recipe I’ve ever used. It’s delicious and easy. More than good enough for company. Thanks, David!

  • lee
    March 19, 2010 1:26am

    I made this with chicken tenders (boneless and skinless slivers of chicken breast) and it was moist and delicious. I used tenders because I had just bought some on sale.

  • Becca
    March 19, 2010 3:18am

    This was excellent, and so easy. While the chicken was cooking I chopped some romaine and made my favorite lemon garlic dressing from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Add a big fat chunk of chewy paesano loaf for sopping and a glass (or three) of red wine, and you’ve got one spectacular and spectacularly relaxed supper. Thanks!

  • March 19, 2010 8:45pm

    I made this dish this week with skinless, boneless chicken breasts and and the husband and son absolutely devoured it. Really good!

  • Michal
    March 20, 2010 10:13am

    What a perfect timing! as I was just looking for a quick main course for Passover Seder next week. To make sure that I’m not risking my reputation, I made it for lunch today and it turned out to be a hit. Given the soy sauce that goes into the dish I should have been more carfuel with the salt. Will fix it next time. BTW,the somewhat salty juices went prefect with potato puree.

  • March 20, 2010 2:33pm

    I made this chicken last night and it was a hit! My 8 year old is so picky about food, but I served it with his favorite (bread and balsamic) and told him the same ‘vinegar’ was on the chicken and he ate it!! He usually only eats my homebaked chicken nuggets! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • Pamela
    March 20, 2010 7:59pm

    I just took this out of the oven and ate a piece of the chicken. Yum, yum, yum! Delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • March 21, 2010 12:59pm

    perfect. just bookmarked this for a future meal.


  • Made that recipe for dinner tonight and it was great.
    Thanks a bunch.

  • Kristine in Santa Barbara
    March 21, 2010 10:01pm

    I made this for dinner with baked sweet potatoes, steamed asparagus and butterleaf salad. Delicious. Couldn’t have been easier and truly made as few dishes as possible. I loved it. But I like meat on the bones and dark meat. My family prefers white meat and boneless/skinless. For those made it with b/s breasts or tenders, how did you keep it from drying out? Seems like it could be stove top meal if you are working with boneless white meat?

  • March 22, 2010 12:47am

    I am so in love with shallots I look for excuses to cook them. Tonight was shrimp with shallots, fresh peas. This week, it will be this dish. The soy sauce is a nice touch to bring that hidden zip. I usually do Worcestershire. Thanks for a great recipe.

  • lee
    March 22, 2010 2:11am

    It may be that the tenders stay down to be more covered by the liquid than a bone-in breast would. The cooking time seems to be for the shallots instead of to get the meat done. We cooked it five minutes longer than David called for because the shallots were not yet caramelized and there seemed to be too much liquid left. When we removed them there was still some liquid and the shallots were wonderfully brown.

    I don’t see any advantage in cooking this on the stove top when using tenders and I see a few disadvantages. I would stir them more which might interfere with the caramelization, and if you had the burner on too high, then the liquid would be driven off before the chicken is fully cooked. It also looses its charm as a no fuss, one dish meal because I don’t serve in stove top pans, but I do in my nice baking dishes.

    Oh, I used apple cider vinegar and it worked very well.

  • Kathie
    March 22, 2010 3:28pm

    Finally made this for dinner last night. So tasty. I used a champagne vinegar and served the chicken with risotto and a fresh green salad. Needless to say there were no leftovers.

  • March 23, 2010 7:03am

    I made this last night. It was outstanding! So easy, so flavorful.

    Going to link to this post today on my blog.

  • Stephanie
    March 23, 2010 9:47am

    I, too, made this recipe this weekend. It was my first time cutting a whole chicken into 8 pieces, and it was strangely satisfying hearing my kitchen shears snap through the bones (does that sound gross?).

    Anyway, it was an amazing dish (I used tarragon vinegar) and you’re right, I will definitely make sure these ingredients are always on hand.

  • March 23, 2010 1:06pm

    I cooked this recipe of yours on Friday evening last week and it was a total hit! No leftover :)

  • March 23, 2010 4:28pm

    I tried this one and it went over well. But the skin on the chicken didn’t seem to be as crispy as it looks in the photos.

    I’m wondering if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Or maybe I could turn it skin side up at the end and give it a blast under the broiler to crisp it up a bit?

  • Kathryn
    March 26, 2010 3:14pm

    7pm, having a look at some of the blogs I like to check out, in the back of my mind wondering what to do with the “blanc de poulet” sitting in my fridge… you saved the day!
    Thank you

  • Rebecca
    March 27, 2010 4:29pm

    Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! As a working mom with two young kids, I am always looking for delicious meals that require little hands on time! This one was spectacularly delicous and a hit with the whole family. It has earned a spot in my regular rotation and I am recommending it to family and friends. Thank you for such a wonderful addition to our repertoire!!!

  • Amy
    March 29, 2010 1:42pm

    I made this for dinner over the weekend. Very good, so quick and easy that this will become one of my staples! I love recipes that use simple ingredients that I usually have in my pantry.

  • Alice
    April 1, 2010 12:49am

    When I make it back to Paris some day, may I come test recipes with you? I’m a great dishwasher.

  • maria
    April 4, 2010 6:21pm

    Tried this today. I screwed up a bit by starting the chicken skin side down, plus I didn’t have skin on the chicken breasts. However, all of the pieces still came out tender, the shallots taste amazing, and i feel a bit of spiciness even I think from the pepper/vinegar? Amazed at how little work there was.

  • Eimear
    April 5, 2010 3:55pm

    I just made this dish and it was incredible, thank you so much! It was so simple I don’t even feel as if I made anything, it was less than five minutes prep time and the oven did the rest of the work!

  • Scotty
    April 6, 2010 12:35am

    Made this the other night and loved it. Just now discovering your blog—thank you for it.
    I’ll be going on my honeymoon in the South of France (with a little Paris at the end) late this summer, so if you have any specific recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

  • April 6, 2010 2:33am

    Scotty: I’ve been to the Cote d’Azur and Nice several times, and you can use the search engine to find the specific posts about them, as they include recommendations.

  • Mlle Jane
    April 6, 2010 4:37am

    Oh my! As soon as I saw the picture, I HAD to have this for dinner. I live alone, so I rarely buy a whole chicken, and as I prefer the thigh & leg meat anyway, this was perfect for the tasty free-range marylands I had in my fridge. So simple. so good. Two thighs, two legs, two meals. This is now my go-to chicken dinner. Merci beaucoup David! Also a great big merci for all the handy info on your blog which helped make my month in Paris last year extra delicious!

  • R F
    April 9, 2010 6:47pm

    I’ve tried this three times already. The first time with a whole chicken cut in half. The second and third times using a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces. Yesterday, I added a couple of white mushrooms to the marinade and pureed them using an immersion blender before adding the shallots. I also used tamari instead of shoyu as I’ve done the previous two times. A combination of the tamari and the mushroom definitely added more umami to the chicken.

  • Courtney
    April 24, 2010 10:15pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was perfect! Will definitely become a regular in my house. Simple yet very flavorful and moist. With a big green salad, its a perfect meal. Thanks for sharing!

  • May 1, 2010 8:56pm

    David, this was dang tasty.

    I too had problems with my juices not reducing but it was because my dish was overcrowded. Single layer, yes, but with no space between the pieces. I knew that as I put it in the oven but didn’t have the time to move to a bigger dish. And yet it was still so yummy – can’t wait to try it again and do it right.

    I’m also starting to make my way through your new book. Racine’s cake (we’re calling it Nibby Cake) was divine.

    Thanks for doing what you do!


  • Angela
    May 10, 2010 2:38pm

    Bookmarked this when first posted and finally made it for Mother’s Day. It was a hit with all the moms, including me. Flavor and ease of prep won me over. Used only legs and thighs and met with success. Like Darla my juices didn’t reduce entirely because of over crowding but everyone loved sopping up the shallots, parsley, and drippings.

    I like my skin well browned so I turned the meat skin side up for an additional 10 or 15 minutes — looked great, tasted delicious.

    This will be served again and often. Thanks!

  • Bahar
    May 11, 2010 6:03pm

    I don’t think this was already answered, but I have made this chicken three different times and it’s a HUGE hit! BUT, the first time there weren’t enough shallots, the second time there still weren’t enough and the third time there were too many! Are shallots in France smaller than the ones we find in the US? Please help!


  • May 12, 2010 1:58am

    Here’s a picture of slicing a shallot in half, which shows the size of shallot that I use.

  • steph & jess
    May 13, 2010 12:04pm

    this is delicious; it is now in our regular rotation of recipes. and we just blogged about it: thanks for sharing such an awesome and easy dish!

  • novi
    June 27, 2010 7:04pm

    Its sooo easy and delish! I’ve made it 3 times..

  • Kristine-CA
    June 30, 2010 9:37pm

    I’ve made this 4 times, and think it’s the easiest, tastiest chicken recipe. The last two times I made it with boneless skinless chicken breasts and tenders. I much prefer it on the bone, but my family really only likes white meat. When making it that way, I can do it in a heavy cast iron skillet on the stove top. I start caramelizing the shallots before adding the chicken pieces (cut thin and pounded a bit). It’s pretty good, especially for chicken breast. The family loves it. This is really one great recipe, or technique, that I am so grateful for. Thanks!

  • Lynne
    July 12, 2010 12:59pm

    This recipe was everything I hoped for and more :) I ended up using sherry wine vinegar and hitting the pan with a bit of extra tamari (looked a bit dry when I turned the chicken) and it was absolutely perfect. It’s funny: Growing up my mom always made roasted chicken thighs doused in soy sauce and sliced onions, so this recipe seemed very familiar yet somehow a little more grown up. I’ve forwarded the recipe on to Mom so she can try it. The addition of the vinegar just makes this dish sing. You rock, David!

  • July 30, 2010 1:36pm

    I made this last week and it was awesome. Plus the recipe is super easy. Thanks David!

  • Caroline
    September 10, 2010 1:03am

    Hi David!
    I’ve made this recipe a good number of times with great success this summer. Thank you.
    Tonight I made it again and decided to add a pinch of brown sugar to the soy sauce, vinegar & oil. Well…… know……..with the sweetness added in…….it’s awfully good with brown sugar too. Totally naughty (brown sugar) and yummy!
    -Caroline Reply

  • Jaden
    February 1, 2011 8:44pm

    Thank you David. This dish is really delicious. It is amazing that just these few ingredients give so much flavor. Can you point me to a couple more of your easy weeknight meals? Reply

  • Linda
    May 22, 2020 12:52pm

    Is this a dumb question? When cutting the breast in half, which direction is lengthwise and which is crosswise? Reply

    • May 22, 2020 2:42pm
      David Lebovitz

      Lengthwise would be running down the length, or the long way, or something. (Like the length of a surfboard.) Crosswise is in half the shorter way. Reply

  • Joan
    May 22, 2020 2:06pm

    This recipe is just what I need right now. After 8 weeks of confinement and a lot of experimenting with complicated recipes, a one-dish dinner sounds like heaven and this looks delish. Headed to La Belle Bête for my chicken now. My dish-pan hands thank you.

    Just one question … where do find your sherry vinegar in Paris? I’ve looked everywhere … even wine shops. So far, no luck. Reply

    • May 22, 2020 2:44pm
      David Lebovitz

      I get mine at G. Detou. I like the Spanish brand they carry. (I’m out and forgot the name.) But Maille is very good and uses Spanish sherry as well. Most supermarkets have it. Reply

      • Joan
        May 22, 2020 7:51pm

        Thank you !! I prefer Spanish too … that’s what I was searching for. Reply

  • tbbbnbab
    May 22, 2020 4:19pm

    What size chicken did you have in mind when you wrote “one whole chicken”? Here in the US, most whole chickens seem to be close to 5 pounds, but in France, I’m guessing that 3 pounds is closer to the norm. It is surprisingly difficult to find a smaller bird here in the US. Perhaps I need to be looking in a different type of store… Reply

  • Marketmaster
    May 22, 2020 5:02pm

    This may be my favorite chicken recipe ever—almost no prep, done in under an hour and delicious. I’ve been making it since It was originally posted, using only thighs. It also makes the best thighs to use for leftovers. Thanks to David and Susan Loomis. I also her French Farmhouse Cookbook. Reply

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