Wow, I made this tonight, and it came out extremely good. Nothing was too overpowering, and it all melded together perfectly with meat falling off the bone tenderness. I couldn't find any 3 1/2 pound chickens, so I ended up getting a 6 1/2 pound one. Also, because I can't move the racks in my oven (I live in an apartment) and I think my oven cooks a bit high anyhow, I ended up turning the heat down to 375 instead and cooking for it around about 2 hours, but it was so worth it. My picky husband loved it.
I served it just the way you suggested, Angie. I can't imagine any better way to use those tasty croutons and garlic.
I made this for the Summer 2006 Pick A Chef Contest. I just want to say that it was VERY GOOD!!! I made one mistake and I will put it here so others don't do it. I do not like the skin on chicken so I took all of the skin off. Don't do this it turned out a bit dry. It was still VERY GOOD!! I also cooked it when it was thawed out, I don't know if it was that or that I took the skin off, but I had no juice in the bottom of my pan. So I added a can of Chicken Broth and it turned out GREAT!! I would definatly make this again!!!
I second the "heaven on a plate" description! Made exactly as stated, simplicity perfected.
The chicken was tender, flavorful and juicy. I modified it slightly by spraying pan and chicken with EVOO and added rosemary to the cavity. The croutons were amazing as well, great compliment to the chicken. Simply to prepare which is always something I look for in a recipe. Perfect for a nice and quick Friday night favorite!!
My husband and daughter loved this recipe. The croutons are great!
This must be one of the best things to do with a free range organic chicken. So simple and the flavours shine through. Thanks Angie.