Of all my whole chicken recipes, this million dollar chicken recipe hands down get the most acclaim every time I serve it. Million dollar chicken is one of those chicken recipes that people dream about. It’s every bit as good as the name implies, but it won’t break the bank to make!
Just remember- it requires a 1-day prep. Let’s get started.
This million dollar chicken recipe gets so much positive feedback. Here are some of the highlights!
- Incredibly tender and moist meat
- Amazing tangy taste from the one of a kind glaze
- The bread… You just have to try it!
- Makes a whole bird, so there’s plenty to go around
How To Make Million Dollar Chicken Recipe
Making this million dollar chicken recipe is very similar to engagement chicken, which is supposed to be so good it can convince even the most reluctant suitor to pop the question!
Begin 1 day before serving, by mixing together the seasoned butter and spreading under the skin of the chicken. Fill the cavity of the chicken with lemon, aromatic herbs, and salt and pepper. Squeeze a lemon over the outside of the chicken. Put it on a baking sheet or rimmed pan and wrap well with cling wrap. Store in the fridge overnight.
To cook the chicken, pull the chicken out and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes on the counter. Grease a 9×13 pan with olive oil and place the sourdough in the middle of it. Put the chicken on top of the bread and coat the outside of the bird with olive oil.
Cook in the oven, basting with pan drippings every 15 minutes. Make the glaze and at 5-minute increments when the chicken is almost done, slather the glaze on the outside of the chicken in 3 layers. Cook under the broiler until golden brown and crispy. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes and serve!
There are a lot of steps to make this baked whole chicken recipe for maximum taste and texture. Be sure to read the recipe carefully and here are some extra suggestions!
Timing – Timing is everything with this recipe. If you skimp on the prep time, the meat won’t be as tender. Also, and this is the hardest part, you must wait at least 10 minutes after pulling the bird from the oven to cut it. If you don’t, all the juice from the meat will run out, leaving dry chicken behind.
Resting the meat– I know it’s torture to wait for 10 minutes before digging in, but resting the meat in this recipe is crucial. The glaze has formed a nice, crispy coating that locks moisture in the chicken. If you cut into it right away, you’ll lose most of that moisture. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and allow the juice to settle back into the meat.
Aleppo pepper – If you’re able to find it, Aleppo pepper brings a medium heat and cumin-like undertones to the glaze and it’s well worth buying! I love it in all kinds dishes. If you can’t find it, try using paprika with a dash of cayenne pepper instead.
Creme Fraiche – This ingredient packaging is slightly inconsistent, so I’ve given a range that works. If you can’t find it, you can make it or use a substitute.
- Make creme fraiche by combining 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Cover it loosely and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours or until it is thickened. Give it a good stir, and it will hold in the fridge for about 10 days.
Sourdough Bread– The bread is one of the best parts of this recipe. You do not want to skip it, though the chicken cooks fine without it. The bread gets brown and crispy on the pan side but stays moist where the chicken sits on top of it. It soaks up loads of flavor too!
- Sourdough is the best choice for bread since it can hold up the weight of the chicken and not get mushy. Wheat, white, or other soft bread won’t work!
To store leftover million dollar chicken, allow the cooked chicken to cool. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate. Be sure the container seals well to prevent drying out.
Can You Freeze This?
This million dollar chicken recipe freezes well. Be sure to allow the chicken to cool before putting it in a freezer container.
Make Ahead Tips
The nature of the recipe has a built-in one day in advance prep. Other than pre-mixing the crème Fraiche glaze or seasoned butter, there isn’t much to do in advance.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Tools to Make
To make this chicken recipe, you’ll need a 9×13 baking dish. Otherwise, you’ll need a couple of bowls for mixing, and a pastry brush is handy for spreading the glaze.
This million dollar chicken recipe is a tried and tested method for best results. Here are a few other ideas for baked chicken.
- I love making crockpot whole chicken. It’s so convenient and delicious. This method won’t work well in the crockpot. You need the time in the oven to crisp the skin and lock in the flavor.
- Just like the crockpot, the Instant Pot won’t work well for this recipe. However, making instant pot whole chicken recipe is a fantastic way to make a juicy, succulent whole chicken. Plus, the instant pot makes it all happen in a flash!
- You could make this recipe by cutting your bird using the spatchcock chicken method. This technique butterflies and flattens the whole chicken. It might change how the bread beneath the chicken turns out, but you should still get crispy skin.
- Buttermilk brings a bit of tang and helps make the chicken tender and juicy. In this recipe, you’re better off using crème Fraiche for the glaze, but buttermilk baked chicken would be a great idea!
This recipe is only one of many great baked chicken recipes! Check out these winner-winner chicken dinners!
- Baked Chicken Thighs – Tender and juicy- one of the best parts of the bird
- Baked Chicken Breast – Full of flavor and super moist
- Baked Chicken Tenders – Tasty chunks of chicken for the whole family
- Baked Chicken Fingers – the kiddos will love them
- Baked Chicken Wings – a must for any wing fan
Million Dollar Chicken
- 1 4-5 pounds roasting chicken
- 1/4 Cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 zest of one whole lemon
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 lemons, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 (¾ thick) slice sourdough, day old
- olive oil
Creme Fraiche Glaze:
- 7.5 - 8 ounces creme fraiche
- 1 zest and juice of lemon
- 1 tablespoon shallots, grated
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges - optional
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, optional
Day Before Serving:
- The day before serving the chicken, in a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mash together butter, zest of 1 lemon, 4-6 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. With fingers, carefully loosen the skin around the chicken breast, leg, and thigh. Spread butter mixture evenly under the skin on breast and upper leg meat.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into the chicken cavity, then season the cavity well with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the smashed garlic, 1 of the lemons cut into wedges, bay leaves, and 10 thyme sprigs.
- Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet or plate and squeeze the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon over the chicken and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- On the day of serving, remove chicken from fridge and set on the counter for 30 minutes. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat oven 450 degrees.
- Using olive oil, lightly oil a 9X13 inch baking/roasting dish and place the slice of sourdough in the center of the dish, then place chicken on top of the bread. Drizzle the chicken generously with olive oil, allowing about 2 tablespoons of extra oil to accumulate in the bottom of the pan.
- Place dish in preheated oven. Baste every 12-15 minutes, with pan drippings, about roast 40-50 minutes.
- Prepare glaze while chicken roasts; mix together until well combined.
- As soon as the chicken is almost cooked through (the skin on the drumstick just begins to split or it becomes easy to wiggle), slather on a layer of the creme fraiche glaze using a pastry brush. Continue to roast for 5 minutes.
- Slather on another layer of the glaze and roast for another 5 minutes. If the wings or legs are browning too quickly, cover loosely with a small piece of aluminum foil.
- Apply one last layer of the glaze and place under the broiler, watching closely, until the glaze caramelizes. At this point, the chicken should be cooked through and nicely browned.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes then carve. Cut the sourdough into 4 pieces and serve with the chicken.
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- Resting the chicken is crucial. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and allow the juice to settle back into the meat.