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How to Wrap a Whole Chicken in Pastry

Known as “poulet au pain” in France, chicken wrapped in pastry is the ultimate comfort food. Here’s how to do it.

Sarah Breckenridge; videography and editing by Gary Junken and Mike Dobsevage
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Wrapping a whole chicken in a buttery dough to form a crust (not unlike a salt crust) may sound like a difficult process, but it isn’t. Here, you’ll learn Barbara Lynch’s technique for wrapping a chicken in pastry dough in three simple steps.

When chef Barbara Lynch steams a whole chicken in pastry (known as “poulet au pain” in France) she envelopes the bird in a buttery dough to form a crust (not unlike a salt crust) that allows the chicken to gently steam in its own juice, which is made even more flavorful thanks to an aromatic stuffing of rosemary, carrot, onion, and celery. Best of all, the dough bakes up buttery and flaky yet sturdy. It’s scrumptious broken into pieces and eaten along with the chicken and vegetables.

Get the recipe:Pastry-Wrapped Chicken with Vegetable Stuffing  

Barbara says the finished dish is like “chicken pot pie minus the pot,” and while the dish may look complicated, it’s actually surprisingly simple to do.   

1. Wrap the chicken as you would a present: Put it on the dough breast side down and bring up each side of the dough, overlapping it. If there is a lot of overlap, trim some away, then pinch the seams to seal.  

2. Turn the wrapped bird over so the seams are on the bottom and the breast side is up. Brush with egg wash to help create a beautiful golden-brown crust and sprinkle with salt to bring out the dough’s buttery flavor.   

3. Carve as you would a roast chicken, slicing into the breast and pulling away the meat and crust. The legs should easily pull away, too. And don’t forget to spoon out and serve the tasty vegetable stuffing.

Read the article, Beyond Roast Chicken to see how two more chefs reimagine Sunday dinner roast chicken.


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