Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Lex's Roast Chicken with Bacon and Spicy Coffee Rub

I set out to make Lex's Roast Chicken with Bacon and Spicy Coffee Rub from Ari Weinzweig's Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon a few days after Labor Day weekend. The weather had cooled down to the point where I was rummaging for something warmer than a t-shirt to wear--I was quite pleased to be turning on the stove.

After assembling and prepping the formidable list of ingredients, approximating my own version of Zingerman's Spicy Coffee Rub, and rendering a healthy (or not so healthy) portion of bacon fat, it was time to place the coffee-rubbed, bacon-draped chicken over its bed of bread, apples, onions, celery, currants, and herbs, and into the oven.

It took about half an hour for my entire house to fill up with a distinctly fall-like aroma. The whole place smelled wonderful, but I couldn't put my finger on what this appealingly familiar smell of roasting poultry, apples, onion, thyme, and bread reminded me of. And then it hit me--Thanksgiving! This chicken is nothing more than a miniature version of a Thanksgiving turkey complete with a delicious pan-dripping soaked stuffing.

I had unknowingly made a Thanksgiving meal in less than an hour.

If I had realized this beforehand, I would have certainly whipped up some cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and invited a few friends over for this unofficial pseudo-Thanksgiving celebration.

In typical Thanksgiving fashion, the uneaten chicken showed up in various leftover incarnations all week--sandwiches, salads, and of course, pulled off the bone and eaten cold while standing in front of the fridge.

Adapted from Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon by Ari Weinzweig.

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