• Yield: Serves 4 to 6

This is a classic roast chicken—herb-scented and bronze-skinned—that’s been vamped out with crispy mushrooms cooked in the same pan. The mushrooms absorb all the heady chicken juices as they roast, turning golden and crunchy. It’s sort of like they’d been fried in schmaltz, but a whole lot easier. You can use any mix of mushrooms here, but I especially love to include maitake (hen-of-the-woods). Their lacy edges turn potato-chip brittle, and it’s very hard to stop eating them.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus 4 large sprigs

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 whole (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken, patted dry with paper towels

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 8 ounces mixed mushrooms (any kinds you like), sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Dinner in French by Melissa Clark


1. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped tarragon, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Use this salt mixture to season the chicken inside and out. Refrigerate the chicken, uncovered, for 1 hour.

2. Heat the oven to 450°F.

3. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the tarragon and thyme sprigs. Roast for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss together the mushrooms, oil, and a large pinch of salt.

5. After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with the pan juices, or drizzle it with a little olive oil if the pan is dry, and scatter the mushrooms around the chicken in the pan. Continue roasting until the chicken’s juices run clear when the skin is pierced with a knife, 20 to 30 minutes more, tossing the mushrooms after 10 minutes.

6. When the chicken is done, transfer it to a cutting board and tent it with foil to keep it warm, leaving the mushrooms in the pan. Let the chicken stand for 10 minutes before carving. 

7. Add the butter and parsley to the mushrooms in the roasting pan and toss to melt the butter. Serve the chicken with the buttery mushrooms on top.

Thinking Ahead

Chicken: You can marinate the chicken, uncovered, in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Mushrooms: You can slice the mushrooms up to 24 hours ahead and store them in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge.

Reprinted from Dinner in French. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Laura Edwards. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Melissa Clark
Melissa Clark is a food writer, author, and host of our new podcast Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark. She is a food columnist for The New York Times, and has written more than 30 cookbooks including Dinner in an Instant, Cook This Now, and In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.