It's loved, it's famous, it's been named CRACK CHICKEN by anybody that has ever had it, but to keep it à la Français, we shall call it Le Poulet Crack. It's quite simple, it's just chicken, lemons, homemade croutons and onions. But it will be the best thing you have ever eaten!
This is an adaptation of the one and only Ina Gartens (the Barefoot Contessa) recipe that is in her amazing book, Barefoot in Paris. Honestly one of the best cookbooks out there, if you could only have two, it would be this one and of course, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Anyway, back to the Crack. When it comes to this recipe, you need to fight your instinct of "that looks burned" because the crack is not the chicken, it's the croutons and the onions. The Chicken is like the cracker on the cheese plate, merely a vehicle. Let's get this party started!
1 Chicken-whatever size you want it to be, but maybe personal size when nobody is around and you get it all to yourself. Anybody that has had this, won't judge.
4 large yellow onions, honestly whatever fits in tour roasting pan, cut in half. FILL IT UP
olive oil, salt & pepper
1 cube of butter
a good crusty bread, sourdough, round covered with seeds, anything that is sturdy
Heat the oven to 425
wash and dry the le poulet, shove him full of as many quartered lemons as he can take, and season him with kosher salt and pepper. Meanwhile, melt the magic butter on the stovetop. Peal and slice the yellow onions and place in the bottom of your roasting dish, preferable Le Creuset, because the best and French. Place the dried stuffed chicken on top and then pour ALL the butter on top of le Poulet. Cook for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until the juices run clear.
Meanwhile, while the chicken is cooking, cube up the bread and sauté or bake in a toaster to create croutons. On the stovetop, heat 2 Tbls. olive oil in a large pan, and working in batches toast all sides of croutons until crunchy, set aside and continue in batches until done with the loaf.
Now here comes le crack! When the chicken is finished cooking, check the onions, are they browned and almost black? If not, remove the chicken to a plate, cover with foil and returns the onions to the oven, keep on cooking until they are browned, it's ok and perfectly delicious to keep adding butter. When the onions are the perfect shade of amazingness (a golden brown) take the croutons and toss them into the buttery onions. (voila.. C'est crack) Keep on stirring it up so the croutons soak up the buttery chicken goodness. Now place the chicken back on top with any juices... you can take it from there..... and you are very welcome for this life changing moment I just gave you