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Recipe: Bistro Vendome Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower Gratin

Mar 23, 2021 | Blog, Recipes

Bistro Vendome has been serving elegant French bistro fare to Denverites since chef Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch opened the restaurant downtown in 2003. Try this elegant roasted chicken dish by the chef, it’s a staple on the menu.

Chef Jen suggests starting the gratin first, even making it a day in advanced and heating up when the time for dinner arises. We, of course, suggest using using JHawk Farms air-chilled, pasture-raised chicken for the protein part of the recipe. Make sure to brine the bird first, no less than 12 hours in a solution of salt, water and whatever spices you may want such as garlic, bay leaf and pepper corns. Give this bistro bite a try in your own home and let us know how it turns out!

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Bistro Vendome Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower Gratin

Recipe by chef Jennifer Jasinski

Serves 4

Roasted Chicken


2 chickens, two-to-three pounds, or one large chicken, four-to-five pounds

2 ounces olive oil or butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 325F. Remove chicken from the refrigerator so it can temper for 40 minutes.

2. Rub chicken all over with oil, garlic and thyme, then season with salt and pepper.

3. Place bird(s) in a large baking dish* and roast for about 30 minutes.

4. Turn up the oven to 450F and continue roasting the chicken until just cooked, about 20 minutes, basting along the way with the chicken’s drippings. A three pound bird takes about 50 minutes to roast, and the eternal temperature should be about 155F, which rises to 160F once it rests for 10 minutes or so.

5. Cut the chicken in halves, removing the leg at the hip joint and also removing the breast bone. Place the half chicken on your dinner plate and on the opposite side of the plate place the cauliflower gratin.

6. Drizzle 1 to 2 ounces of the jus on the chicken.

*Chef Jen says she sometimes places the bird on a few carrot sticks so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Chicken Herb Jus


1 ounce olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

2 cloves garlic, rough chopped

8 ounces chicken stock

2 ounce veal demi-glace (if you do not have this add more stock)

1 sprig thyme, chopped

2 sprigs Italian parsley, chopped

2 leaves fresh basil, chopped

2 ounces butter


1. In a pre-heated sauce pot sauté the shallots and garlic in olive oil until a light golden color.

2. Add in stock and reduce by half.

3. Finish the sauce with parsley, thyme and basil and whisk in the butter to emulsify. Season to taste.


Cauliflower Gratin


1 medium head cauliflower

¼ cup chopped shallots

2 ounces butter

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig parsley

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon grated horseradish (jarred is fine as long as it’s all natural)

1 teaspoon curry powder

Freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup grated Emmenthaler cheese

¼ cup panko

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Clean cauliflower and cut into small florets, reserving the stem portion and discarding any leaves.

2. Blanche the florets in salted boiling water.

3. In a food processor grind the stems into small bits.

4. In a sauté pan sweat shallots in butter. When translucent add the ground cauliflower stems to the pot and continue to sweat.

5. Add cream and cook on low until the stems are soft, about 10 minutes.

6. Wrap parsley, thyme and bay into a removable parcel (empty tea bags work well) and add parcel to the cream mixture while it simmers.

7. Once cauliflower is soft remove the parcel of spices and blend remaining cream and cauliflower with the horseradish and curry and season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Mix the cream mixture with the blanched cauliflower and taste again to check seasoning. Portion the mixture into individual cups and top with the cheese and bread crumbs.

9. When the chicken is about half way done, or has been in the oven about 25 minutes, reheat the cauliflower gratin.

10. When the chicken comes out of the oven, remove the gratins as well and check that they are hot in the center.

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