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Anchovy-Butter Chicken with Chicken Fat Croutons

by , featured in Dining In
Published by Clarkson Potter
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When people ask me what my favorite thing to cook is, often I’ll give them the most boring but honest answer possible: roasted chicken. In a personal quest for “the one,” I’ve tried a bird every way possible—simple salt-and-pepper birds, spatchcocked and slow roasted, brined, and trussed—but I always come back to this version: smeared inside and out with a salty, garlicky anchovy butter; roasted at a high temperature for brown skin, then low for juicy breasts; stuffed only with more garlic and maybe some herbs; legs akimbo (I have a strict “no truss, no fuss” policy).

I’m going to be honest with you: this recipe is almost too much. The sticky juices from the roasted chicken, the caramelized bits from anchovy butter, and the croutons that cook in the skillet and crisp in the fat, well… I mean, it’s really all just too much. Almost. For what other dish would you be tempted to lick a hot skillet?

Image of Alison Roman's Anchovy-Butter Chicken
Photograph by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott


Serves: 4

  • 1 (3½ to 4 lb) chicken
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 10 anchovy fillets (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 head of garlic (halved crosswise)
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme , marjoram, oregano and/or rosemary
  • 2 small red onions or large shallots (unpeeled and quartered)
  • ½ loaf of crusty bread (torn into 2-inch pieces)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley (coarsely chopped)


Anchovy-Butter Chicken with Chicken Fat Croutons is a guest recipe by Alison Roman so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season it with salt and lots of pepper; let it hang out while you make the anchovy butter.
  3. Using a fork, smash the butter, anchovies, and chopped garlic together in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Smear the chicken all over and inside every nook and cranny with this butter (like, really get in there). If you’re comfortable doing so, I encourage you to smear the butter under the skin, too.
  4. Stuff the chicken cavity with the halved garlic and herbs, and place the bird on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large skillet. Scatter the onions around the chicken and roast until the bird starts to brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Toss the onions around to coat them in whatever amazing fat has dripped off the chicken. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are gloriously golden, another 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or large serving platter, leaving the juices and onions behind. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F (ugh, I know, annoying—just do it, though) and toss the bread in all the glorious fat and cooking juices on the baking sheet, making sure the pieces are soaking up all the business left behind. Return the baking sheet to the oven to crisp up the bread, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve this alongside the chicken, with the roasted onions and parsley scattered around and on top.

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What 2 Others have said

  • This recipe is AMAZING. We must have made it 20 times by now. I'm gluten intolerant and we use gf bagels or bread for the croutons. LOVE it. Even if you "don't like anchovies" try it anyway. You will be pleased.

    Posted by Bokkon on 19th January 2023
  • Delicous!

    Posted by ibrown2112 on 1st April 2022
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