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Baked Chicken with Cinnamon Butter

This baked chicken with cinnamon butter is an incredibly easy dish made by rubbing a whole hen with cinnamon, garlic, and peppercorn compound butter and roasting until tender.

Slices of baked chicken drizzled with cinnamon butter, green salad, and lemon wedge.

Make the cinnamon butter in larger quantities and store it in the freezer, keeping a small jar in the refrigerator for current consumption. A simple green salad with a very light dressing is the best accompaniment.–Elizabeth David

Baked Chicken with Cinnamon Butter FAQs

What else can I use this compound butter on?

The butter also works well with pheasant. (For a young bird of about 1 3/4 pounds, the timing and temperature are the same as for the chicken, but the pheasant should be wrapped in well-buttered parchment paper or foil.) We think that it would also be incredibly good on steak.

What can I substitute for brined green peppercorns?

Simply underripe black peppercorns, the brined green variety is made from fresh, rather than dried, peppercorns. You can substitute crushed green (or even black, pink, or white) dried peppercorns. Be aware that black will be quite a bit hotter and the pink and white will be milder so adjust to taste. You can use capers for the salty, briny flavor but otherwise, the taste isn’t all that similar.

I don’t like cinnamon. Is there any other spice combination I can use on this roasted chicken?

Ground coriander, cumin, and/or ginger can be combined with the cinnamon or used in place of it, and the proportions can be increased or diminished according to taste.

Baked Chicken with Cinnamon Butter

Slices of baked chicken drizzled with cinnamon butter, green salad, and lemon wedge.

This baked chicken with cinnamon butter is an incredibly easy dish made by rubbing a whole hen with with a cinnamon, garlic, and peppercorn compound butter and roasting until tender.

Elizabeth David

Prep 10 mins

Cook 1 hr 35 mins

Total 1 hr 45 mins

Entrees

American

4 servings

501 kcal

5 / 4 votes

For the cinnamon butter

For the chicken

Make the cinnamon butter

  • Take a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a chef’s knife and crush the peppercorns, if using, garlic, and cinnamon until well combined. Work the butter into the mixture and, when thoroughly mashed together, work in the salt. Store in a small covered jar in the refrigerator.

Prepare the chicken

  • Lift the skin of the chicken and rub the salt and then most of the cinnamon butter all over the flesh, making a few gashes with a small sharp knife in the drumsticks and thick part of the legs so that the spices will penetrate. Put a little more of the butter inside the chicken. If possible, leave the hen at room temperature for an hour or two before cooking.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and adjust the rack to the center position.

Bake the chicken

  • Place the chicken and bay leaves in a shallow baking dish into which it will just fit. [Editor’s Note: We find that a large cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch baking dish works just fine.]
  • Roast the chicken, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with the juices. At the end of the cooking time, the skin should be beautifully golden and crisp. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken

  • Carve the chicken and serve it alongside the salad. Pour the buttery pan juices, minus the bay leaves, into a little sauceboat and place it on the table with the lemon wedges, both of which are lovely on the chicken as well as the salad.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 501kcal (25%)Carbohydrates: 3g (1%)Protein: 36g (72%)Fat: 38g (58%)Saturated Fat: 14g (88%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 167mg (56%)Sodium: 869mg (38%)Potassium: 404mg (12%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 554IU (11%)Vitamin C: 18mg (22%)Calcium: 35mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published January 18, 2012

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