Brined Roast Chicken with Bacon & Chive Waffles

Juice and mouthwatering Brined Roast Chicken with Bacon & Chive Waffles, inspired by Thomas Keller. After you have tried brining your chicken, you won’t roast chicken any other way!

brined roast chicken bacon chive waffles

I think it’s hard to improve on a simple roast chicken, but the moment I tried it Thomas Keller’s way, I think it will be hard to prepare a roast chicken any other way!

Earlier this year, my husband and I spent 4 amazing days in Las Vegas. As with any trip to a new city, I always research the food and restaurants in the area beforehand, planning most of our meals long before we even arrive. And who knew that Las Vegas would be such a foodie paradise??!! Vegas is known for being excessive and with restaurants owned by the likes of Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Nobu and Mario Batali (to name a few), why travel anywhere else when you can just go to Vegas?? 😉

One restaurant I was most excited about visiting was Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. We had dinner there one evening and then brunch a few days later. Both visits left us feel very content, though I also felt a pang of regret for not having had more meals at Bouchon!

brined roast chicken bacon chive waffles

One dish I couldn’t wait try and recreate at home after indulging myself at brunch that weekend was the Roast Chicken with Bacon & Chive Waffles. Come to think of it, a restaurant meal rarely inspires me to recreate a dish at home, but there was something about Bouchon … something about all of that lovely French bistro, home-style cooking.

Though, I’m not sure if there is anything French about these waffles. I searched the internet high and low for recipes for savoury waffles and only came across a few. In the end, I took Rachel Allen’s recipe for waffles and improvised a bit. The result was, I’m pleased to say, very good!

brined roast chicken bacon chive waffles

But the roast chicken … once you’ve tried it this way, you won’t look back – I promise! Thomas Keller has a recipe for roast chicken in his Bouchon cookbook which requires you to brine the chicken for about 6 hours. The brine is a lovely mixture of water, salt, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, honey and lemon. All of these flavours are imparted into the chicken, producing a wonderfully flavoured bird. Just before roasting, all you need to do is salt and pepper the chicken – nothing else. And the brine dehydrates the skin to produce a really crispy and golden skin.

I will definitely be brining my chickens from hereon! There is nothing difficult about it at all – you’ll just need to plan a bit more ahead when making roast chicken.


Roast Chicken with Bacon & Chive Waffles

roast chicken bacon chive waffles thomas keller

5 from 1 review

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Juice and mouthwatering Brined Roast Chicken with Bacon & Chive Waffles, inspired by Thomas Keller. After you have tried brining your chicken, you won’t roast chicken any other way!


For the brine

  • 2 litres water
  • 1/2 cup sea salt flakes
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 large rosemary sprigs
  • small bunch thyme sprigs
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon

For the Roast Chicken

For the Bacon & Chive Waffles

  • 200 g (1 1/3 cup) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 300 ml (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) full cream milk
  • 46 rashers of bacon
  • freshly chopped chives


To make the brine

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large pot and bring to the boil for about 1 minute until the salt has dissolved.
  2. Pour the contents into a large bowl (big enough to also take the chicken later) and set aside to cool completely. I tend to make this brine the night before making the roast chicken, and refrigerating the brine overnight.
  3. About 8 hours before you want to sit down to dinner, place the chicken in the brine, keeping it submerged with a plate if necessary.
  4. Refrigerate the chicken in the brine for 6 hours.
  5. After this time, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it lightly, and pat it dry with some paper towels.
  6. Place the chicken on a roasting tray, preferably with a wire rack. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

To make the Roast Chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
  2. Drizzle  some olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle with some Maldon sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.
  3. Place half a lemon in the cavity of the chicken, together with a few sprigs of thyme.
  4. Roast the chicken for about 20 minutes per 500 g (1 lb), plus an extra 30 minutes. After this time, the chicken should be bronzed in colour and the juices run clear if you poke the thigh meat with a knife.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and place it on a serving dish. Sprinkle the chicken with some fresh thyme leaves. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

To make the Bacon and Chive Waffles

  1. Make sure the eggs and milk are at room temperature. If the eggs are fridge cold, place them in a bowl with some warm water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Fry the bacon with some oil in a large frying pan and drain on paper towels. When they have cooled a little, use your hands to crumble the bacon into a bowl.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  4. In a small bowl or jug, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Stir in the crumbled bacon and add some chopped chives (as much or as little as you like). The batter will be quite thick at this stage.
  7. Heat the waffle machine.
  8. Pour some batter into the machine, making sure it covers most of the mould. Close the lid and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. Makes about 6 waffles if using a heart-shaped waffle machine.

Kitchen Notes

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Nutritional info for the waffles
  • Calories: 372
  • Sugar: 3.7g
  • Sodium: 562.5mg
  • Fat: 23.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.4g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Protein: 9.8g
  • Cholesterol: 114.3mg

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  1. Kay aka Babygirl 22 June 2011

    Chicken and waffles is definitely my favorite dish. I just love how this is made and I love the heart-shaped waffles. Wonderful post.

    • eatlittlebird 22 June 2011

      Thanks for looking at my blog, Kay! I’ve been travelling a lot to the US lately and I am always inspired by what I eat there. I hope to recreate many more American dishes at home!

  2. I’ve never tried brining a chicken or turkey, though it sounds so interesting.
    Everyone who brines their bird raves about it though!
    I’m so impressed with your waffles. The plate looks so inviting!

  3. Jacqui 26 July 2011

    Ive heard of the thomas keller method and it sounds awesome! Im definately going to give it a try… its a weekend kinda dish!

    • eat little bird 27 July 2011

      Hi Jacqui! If you love roast chicken, you should definitely give brining a try! It takes a bit more planning but the results are totally worth it – the flesh is more moist and flavoursome, and the skin is more crispy! I’m travelling at the moment but hope to have the recipe up in the next week or so 🙂

  4. Julia 12 April 2018

    Yummy! This made me drool! Looks beautiful and tasty!