Broken Recipe?

I’m a pretty solid cook, if I do say so myself. But this one flummoxed me:

Garlic and Thyme Roasted Chicken With Crispy Drippings Croutons

Time: 1 hour 25 minutes, plus 10 minutes’ resting

Country bread, ciabatta or other sturdy bread, preferably stale, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more as needed
1 4- to 5-pound chicken, patted dry
1 garlic head, sliced in half horizontally, through the cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay bread slices in a metal roasting pan in one layer. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Rub 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper inside cavity of chicken. Stuff cavity with garlic, bay leaf, lemon and thyme. Rub outside of chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle all over with remaining salt and pepper. Place it breast side up on bread.

3. Roast chicken until it is deeply browned and juices run clear when thigh is pricked with a knife, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve chicken with bread from pan.

Sounds great, eh? But following these directions, after 1/2 hour all the bread, except that which was immediately underneath the chicken, was burnt black and inedible. Even the pieces under the chicken only the parts touching the chicken were OK; the edges where they stuck out were charcoal.

All I can think of off the top of my head is that the oven temperature was miscalibrated. It sounds too good to be wrong, maybe I’ll try it again on another stove…

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