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Million Dollar Chicken

I roast a lot of chicken. It’s my favorite way to eat a chicken. But this million dollar chicken? Oh my GAWD! It’s glorious. Succulent, juicy, insanely flavorful, I could go on, and I will. If you make this, you will subject yourself to an extremely couthless eating experience. Finger sucking, moaning, probably cussing and shaking your knees in anticipation for the next bite. This is by far my favorite way to roast a super sexy chicken. The creme fraiche sauce is killer, and as the hens cook and release their flavorful juices, that crusty bread on the bottom soaks it all up. Whew, Jesus are you there? It’s me, Resha.

A Million Dollars? Really?

No, not really. The guy who invented this recipe calls it “million dollar chicken” because it tastes like a million dollars. I’m pretty sure anything you slather with luxurious creme fraiche is going to taste like a million dollars. I remember last Thanksgiving when I chucked a whole 8-ounce container of it into some silky mashed potatoes and nearly cried.

Million Dollar Chicken

There’s a harmonious melody of flavor going on here that will make you prepare this meal at least twice in one week. It’s addicting. To the point where I’m ready to pour this creme fraiche sauce all over my favorite part of the bird — the thighs. Oh, I’ve got plans!

I used cornish hens for this recipe, but of course you can use any part of the bird, or a whole chicken if you prefer. Just know that cooking times will vary. Rule of thumb, always keep an instant-read thermometer on hand so you never have to over/undercook a chicken ever again.

How to Make Million Dollar Chicken

Million Dollar Chicken

This is what you’ll stuff and season each hen with.

Million Dollar Chicken

Sprinkle a generous amount of the seasoning blend into the cavity of each hen.

Million Dollar Chicken

Then stuff each hen with a bundle of rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and lemon.

Million Dollar Chicken

Perfect!

Million Dollar Chicken

Drizzle some olive oil all over the bird, about a tablespoon or so.

Million Dollar Chicken

Rub the oil all over the surface, don’t forget the bottom!

Million Dollar Chicken

Be generous with the seasoning, it’s your friend, not your enemy. Make it look exactly like this, trust me. No more, no less.

Million Dollar Chicken

Same with the other side.

Million Dollar Chicken

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the baking vessel you’re using, and layer the bread like this.

Million Dollar Chicken

Plop the chickens on top. Nestle them so they’re evenly tuckered. Place them in your super hot oven on the middle-rack for 50 minutes.

Million Dollar Chicken

Meanwhile, mix up the sauce that literally sends this chicken over the edge in a very delicious way. My god!

Million Dollar Chicken

Ohhh boy, this stuff is magical.

Million Dollar Chicken

50 minutes later…

Million Dollar Chicken

Slather that sauce all over.

Million Dollar Chicken

Just like this. Pop it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Million Dollar Chicken

10 minutes later…

Million Dollar Chicken

Slather it again. Turn the oven off, and put the chicken back in for 5 to 10 minutes.

Million Dollar Chicken

Meanwhile, simmer the super sexy sauce for about 2 minutes over medium heat.

Million Dollar Chicken

You guys…you guys…my god. My god in heaven!

Million Dollar Chicken Million Dollar Chicken Million Dollar Chicken Million Dollar Chicken

I cannot stress how amazing this recipe is. Make this NOW!

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Million Dollar Chicken

Million Dollar Chicken


  • Author: Chef Resha
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 6 servings

Description

By far the best roast chicken recipe I’ve ever done. Luxurious, silky creme fraiche slathered all over a perfectly roasted, super juicy bird. Slightly adapted from The Standard Grill.


Ingredients

Units
  • 3 cornish hens, about 2 to 2.5 lbs. each (SEE NOTE)
  • 9 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 slices of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de provence
  • 3 tablespoons flaky kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1-inch slices of artisan sourdough bread (SEE NOTE)

Million Dollar Sauce

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) plain creme fraiche
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons aleppo pepper
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Use a baking vessel that’s big enough to contain all of your chicken(s). In a small bowl or container, mix three tablespoons of kosher salt, one tablespoon of herbs de provence, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper together. This will be your seasoning blend.
  2. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large baking dish, stainless steel, or cast iron skillet. Layer the sour dough bread on the bottom.
  3. Pat the skin of the hens dry with paper towels. Sprinkle a generous amount of the seasoning blend into the cavity of each hen. Stuff 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 smashed garlic clove, 1 bay leaf, and one slice of lemon into each hen. Drizzle about a tablespoon or two of olive oil all over the skin of each hen, then sprinkle more of the seasoning blend all over the surface of the bird. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine, and place each hen on top of the sourdough bread slices. Place the hens and bread into your preheated oven on the middle rack, and roast uncovered for 50 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix all of the Million Dollar Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  5. After 50 minutes, remove the hens from the oven. Slather each hen with the Million Dollar Sauce very liberally. It will melt like butter almost instantly. Pop the hens back into the oven for just 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from oven, turn off the heat. Slather them again and put them back into the hot but turned off oven for about 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, pour the remaining Million Dollar Sauce into a small saucepan or skillet and simmer over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a small serving dish, and serve alongside the hens.
  7. Serve the hens with a slice of the caramelized bread (if you want), and more Million Dollar Sauce for drizzling. Enjoy!

Notes

You can make this recipe with one or 5 cornish hens – quantity doesn’t matter here. You could also use a larger whole chicken instead. I’m giving you measurements based on what I used exactly, but as always, adjust the ingredient amounts according to however many or types of chicken you choose.

If using cornish hens, make sure you use enough bread on the bottom to cradle each one. If using a whole chicken, two to three large slices should suffice. Of course, you can totally skip the bread altogether. I swear, this chicken is so good on it’s own it really doesn’t matter.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Poultry

Keywords: cornish hens, million dollar chicken, roasted chicken

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Recipe rating

  1. Alwiyah Shariff says:

    I made this a couple of years ago and my friends still talk about it!
    It hits all the flavors – creamy, lemony, herby and not to mention the bread at the bottom! – just so good!

  2. 11 Reasons says:

    So good! The sauce is rich but the lemon balances it out perfectly. I used cornish hens.

  3. Amber Young donahoe says:

    Made this tonight and it was sooooooooo good. And the bread underneath omg! I couldn’t stop eating it! Will definitely be a staple in my house

  4. Cool V says:

    Resha, You are that sister friend that entry woman needs AT LEAST one of… you are so inspiring! You’ve introduced me to ingredients that I’d never heard of and helped me be “boss” at using them! I wish you nothing but continued success because you are about propelling us all forward. How awesome is that! Much love!!

  5. Stephani says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Can you use a turkey instead and if so, do you just cook as you would for a normal turkey?
  6. Monique says:

    I made this tonight for dinner and I’m trying not to be Ms Piggy by eating the whole hen. This was my first time making hen but this recipe will definitely be a staple from here on out.

  7. Lacey says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    This looks delicious! Is the cook time the same if using one whole chicken instead of smaller hens?
  8. Julie says:

    Made this yesterday, and I am dying to make it again, it was that good. My husband loved it as well. I made it using the game hens, and it was the best tasting dinner we have ever had. Words don’t describe how good this is, you just need to taste it for yourself! Thank you very much for sharing!!! Xoxo

  9. Ang says:

    Thank you for sharing such a great dish. I wanted something different for Thanksgiving this year besides the normal turkey. This recipe was a hit. My family absolutely loved it. Instead of making Cornish hens I made a whole chicken.

  10. Mae says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Can I do this recipe with a whole chicken that’s cut up?
  11. Alicia says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    I am so excited to use this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. I had a bit of trouble finding Cornish hens that were between 2-2.5 pounds so I purchased a 7.3 pound Cornish hen. Will I need to adjust the seasoning measurements and cooking time?
  12. Shar says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Would this recipe work for a Thanksgiving turkey? I’m making a turkey for the first time since we’re staying home and having a small dinner and already have my 8lb bird. But have no idea what recipe to use lol!
  13. Alwiyah Shariff says:

    Wow wow

  14. Alexis Counts says:

    This is soooooo bomb!!! Whew! I did it with a whole chicken and myyyyy goodness!!

    I made my creme de fraiche the night before! It was super easy … It’s only 1cup cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. It has to sit out 12-24 hours and then I just put it in the fridge to chill … It lasts up to two weeks!!!

    You did that sis!

  15. Tasha says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Gurl! You put yo foot, all the way up to your knees in this!!! It was absolutely amazing. I used a whole chicken. Everything was beyond amazing. And let’s not talk about this bread under it … and I am not that big of a bread eater. I will most absolutely definitely be making this again. Thank you for sharing
  16. Becky says:

    Words can’t describe the party in my mouth! The chicken and the sour dough bread! OMG I’m in heaven!!! The million dollar sauce took this recipe up 100%! Sooooooooo good!!!

  17. Nyckol says:

    I made this recipe for my husband and I-girrrrrrrrl, this recipe is a keeper!! I used two Cornish Hens. They have NEVER been so flavorful, tender, moist, juicy, succulent, fall off the bone tender before. I almost started to slap myself. This IS my new go to recipe. WE LOVED IT!! I made it without the bread, and slapped the extra sauce over my rice. I’m really impressed, and I will be enjoying this recipe with friends and family.
    Thank you for a simple, easy to follow recipe that is versatile, (next time I will use chicken), and heavy on flavor!!

  18. Nikki Washington says:

    Made this today and used sour cream instead but it was soooooooooooooo good. I had to stop myself from eating.

  19. Corinne says:

    Made this dish tonight with my mom. Everyone loved it!!
    We’ll probably try this recipe with 1 whole chicken next time. Sooo good!
    Thank you so much !

  20. Candace says:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE!!!! I actually do one whole chicken butterflied wirh the same measurements for 3 cornish hens. This comes out so tender and juicy! Every time I make this dish it is a huge hit. If Chef Resha comes out with a cookbook I would so buy because there are more recipes that I enjoy and a cookbook is a little more accessible for me!

  21. Danni says:

    Made this for Christmas dinner and now I’m being asked to make it for easter dinner! I don’t even eat meat ? but I heard it was very good!

  22. Asha says:

    Sis…… ohhhhh SISSSSSS. This meal ??? My soul cried. I made it the first time with a whole chicken and it just wasn’t right and I was lowkey mad. Lol (I’m serious) So something told me to find the Cornish hens and follow the recipe. Chileeeee when I tell you I jumped for Jesus and almost burned my fingers trying to eat it the second time. It’s AMAZING! I stalked the comments and substituted the Aleppo pepper for a dash of cayenne and paprika together it gave it that extra kick. I also reduced the amount of salt because I had coarse kosher and saw that and it tastes perfect. You have my heart food wise sis. Come out with a cook book. I’ll buy it ALL.

  23. Moses says:

    First time working with cornish hens but it came out really moist and the herbs stood out on the flavor profile. Much easier to make than i thought it would be. Paired it with your Mac n cheese recipe and a white wine Lentil dish i like to make Big Hit. Next time i think i’ll add more seasoning to the chicken and maybe season it overnight

  24. Heidi Smith says:

    I made this recipe for Valentine’s Day for my sweetheart and it was AMAZING! My hens didn’t brown as pretty as Chef Resha’s did so I broiled them for 3 minutes at the end of the 50 minute cook time before I slathered them in sauce the first time. Also, creme fraiche wasn’t available in my grocery store but I found out you can make it by combining full-fat buttermilk and full-fat heavy whipping cream and letting it sit for 12 hours in the fridge. I LOVE every recipe I have made from the amazing Chef Reshas website! Is there an actual cookbook available to purchase?

  25. Denyse says:

    I made this recipe with 2 whole chickens and it definitely exceeded my expectations – they were so moist and tasty. I was a little salty when people wanted to take the leftovers home because I was looking forward to having them for lunch the next day. Thank you for your very detailed, clear and organized recipe, it reduced the intimidation factor for me and I look forward to trying more of your recipes soon.

  26. Dyanne says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Looks heavenly! Can I make this in a Dutch oven?
  27. Jane says:

    This may or may not get me pregnant again. Thank you for an amazing recipe!!!

  28. Helen Lymburner says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious and looked gorgeous. I made 2 Cornish hens as my husband insisted one would not be enough. LOL we had way too much. Next time I will only roast one. From your experience is it easier to split the hen before or after roasted?

  29. Jenny says:

    Love this recipe I miss seeing your infectious personality on youtube

  30. Laura Carvajal says:

    I actually made this recipe twice using a whole chicken both times (about 5.5 lbs) and used the measurements listed above for one bird. The first time I made it, came out good but not great, due to not following directions carefully and also not making adjustments for using chicken and not small Cornish hens. After learning from my mistakes, the second time I made it came out excellent. I slathered a bit of butter onto the skin, inside the chicken breasts and inside the cavaties and crevices to retain some of the moisture, also baked it for 35mins covered at first, then uncovered for 45mins. I actually seasoned it the night before, rubbing thoroughly, paying a lot of attention to the breasts. Love how you don’t shy away from herbs and spices. Superb!!

  31. Ronee Davis says:

    I can’t seem to find Aleppo Pepper in my ol country town. Can i Substitute it for something else.

  32. Courtney says:

    Hey Resha! I’m making this dish for Christmas and I don’t have a braised pan. Will a casserole dish work or do I just need to get this pan?

  33. Tracy Nutter says:

    I just made this last night, and boy oh boy was it a hit. We had a bit of a snow storm and I could not get the creme fraiche and looked up how to make it but it said it takes 24 hrs:( We ate the chicken without the sauce and it was awesome. I’m making it again tonight, making the stop at Wegmans….Can’t wait!!!! Love this recipe

  34. Taylor says:

    I heard about you on The Read a couple of weeks back and had to check out your recipes. I’m so glad that I did! I just made this recipe and my parents were floored. My dad would not stop talking about how flavorful it was and how moist the chicken was. I will definitely be making this again in the near future! I’m sure I’ll be dreaming about it until then 😀

  35. Dyanne Grant says:

    This looks amazing! Are you using a Dutch oven here to cook them?

  36. Domonique says:

    Y’all. I made this chicken last night. I’ve made plenty of your recipes Resha but this chicken. It was fresh out the oven and burning my tongue and I could not stop eating it. I’m a baby chef with a catering business and I think it’s the best tasting entree I’ve made! It literally is so sexy! So decadent. I just opened my eyes this morning, but I’m getting ready to text all my loved ones and attach the recipe and pictures. They need to know about this chicken! ? gurl Carnal is not the word!!!!! And the bread????? Resha I owe you a slap in the face.

    • Eva's Girl says:

      Ok….this review just inspired me to make this recipe. I love it!!! “I owe you a slap in the face”…iDied

  37. Tam says:

    Hi! I just heard you on The Read, and I’m already obsessed with your site. I’m new to cooking, but I’m feeling inspired. Anyway, it looks like there’s something already rubbed onto the bends before you drize the olive oil. Is that butter? Is it my imagination? Thanks!

  38. Issa says:

    Hi Resha! I made this recipe with two Cornish hen and it was delicious! The only thing was that it turned out a little salty. I did reduce the salt to 2 tbsp since I was using less chicken. Also I couldn’t find flaky kosher salt anywhere so I ended up using coarse kosher salt. For next time, should I use less salt when using coarse kosher salt?

  39. Lily says:

    Wondering if I can use potatoes instead of bread on the bottom? Like a gratin type thing?

  40. Ezra says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    I just got everything to make this. Sooo excited. This is my current favorite chicken recipe. Have you tried it??? It’s from the James beard foundation. It was James beards recipe. So good. https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/chicken-with-tarragon
  41. Meeks says:

    Listen Resha,

    My man is VERY picky. He has a long list of things he won’t eat so I’m limited with what I can cook for him. After hearing you on The Read podcast I visited your site and decided on this Million Dollar Chicken. I paired it with the crispy smashed potatoes.

    My man didn’t want to try it for dinner last night but had it for lunch today and this is the text I got while at work:

    “The only chicken I’ve ever liked has been chick fila, and that one time I had hip hop, I like this meal babe. This can be a repeat rotation…You put your whole ass in this meal and I love it lol ?”

    You and your recipes work magic honey!! Keep doing what you do.

    P.S. I didn’t use bread but next time I will. Can’t wait to add this to the “rotation” lol

  42. gregory washington says:

    Sooooooo, i made this for thanksgiving for the family and they can’t stop talking about it!

    it was amazing! fantastic job! keep’em coming!

  43. Janelle says:

    What can you substitute for the aleppo pepper? I am about to make this and couldn’t find it at the store.

  44. Emily Smith says:

    How would I amend this if using chicken breast’s?

    • Chef Resha says:

      You’d cook them the same exact way but for less time. Chicken breasts dry out faster than dark meat, therefore they don’t need to cook as long. Use an instant-read thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature. It should only take about half the time or less.

  45. Courtney says:

    What adjustments should be made if we use chicken pieces instead of a whole hen or chicken? Thighs or breasts for example?

    • Chef Resha says:

      You will need an instant-read thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature for breasts, because size of them can vary, so there is no set time I can tell you they’ll be done. But they absolutely dry out faster than dark meat, so they need less time. If you have skin-on/bone-in breasts, that will also vary. For thighs, I cook those all the time, at this temperature, they’ll be done in 35-40 minutes.

      • Robin says:

        If I were to use chicken thighs, how would I incorporate the thyme/rosemary/garlic bundle?

      • Robin says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
        I want to make this chicken for my honey. He’s not big on hens and loves chicken thighs. I personally want the rosemary/thyme/garlic bundle added still. How would I incorporate that using chicken thighs?
  46. Beverly Thornell says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    How would this sauce taste on a rotisserie chicken from the store? I dont have timeeeee to be roasting chickens lol
  47. Mel B says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    The recipe was easy to the follow. My folks like it. However, much of the flavor went into the bread. I couldn’t find Cream Fraiche so I just used sour cream. Next time If I can’t find the fraiche then I will just do without. Otherwise, it was yummy. ★★★★
  48. Justine says:

    This looks fantastic! Where can I find those peppers besides Amazon?

  49. Asha says:

    Can you use a whole roasting chicken instead of Cornish hens?

  50. Charisse says:

    Reshaaaaa the bread under this damn chicken!!

  51. Shanta’ says:

    Can I find fraiche at Wegmans ?

  52. Antionette says:

    I can not wait to make this!!! It looks amazing!!!?? thank you!

  53. Felicia says:

    Wow!!! You’ve got recipes coming at us right & left!! Your recipes are so over the top & amazing!! I’m DEFINITELY trying this one this weekend for Sunday Dinner! I can hear the angels now! This looks delicious! Also, your pics are awesome!

  54. Giselle says:

    You out here doing the damn thing!

    If we can’t find creme fraiche, what do we use?

    • Chef Resha says:

      Try hard to find it. Most retailers sell it, but if you absolutely cannot find it, you could use sour cream with a splash of heavy cream. It’ll be tangier, but that’s the closest thing to it.

  55. Cheron says:

    Girl you are giving us so much at one time, LOVE IT. This looks sooo amazing all see, taste, & smell is HDP, can’t wait to try this. HDP gang from Harlem,NYC. Congrats on everything, keep the recipes coming. You are soooo AMAZING,