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Recipe of the month. Always something delicious.​You can find all these items on our website and at our store.

Cocoa Herbs


   • 20 sprigs thyme

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons chamomile  

  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, patted dry

  • Sea Salt

  • Freshly ground black peppercorns

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen pizza dough

  • 3/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 large cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3/4 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, such as shiitake and oyster, stemmed and thickly sliced. (Please note: we carry dried mushrooms, see website, under “Spices”

  • 1/2 cup veal demi-glace mixed with 1/2 cup of water (can substitute brown gravy).




David Bouley pot-roasts chicken on aromatic hay in the oven; he learned the method from legendary French chef Roger Vergé, who cooked chicken on a bed of lavender.

For home cooks, dried loose chamomile flowers can replace the hay Chef Bouley uses.


Before baking, Bouley seals the chicken inside a pot using homemade bread dough, a very old French technique. Store-bought pizza dough works well, too.


Cocoa Herbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spread thyme, bay leaves, and chamomile in the bottom of a large, deep, enamel cast-iron casserole. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper and place directly on the bed of aromatic herbs. Rub the bird with 3 tablespoons of butter.

    Roll the pizza dough into a rope long enough to encircle the casserole. Press the dough around the rim of the casserole and cover with the lid, pressing it into the dough. Work the dough up and over the lid slightly to seal the pot completely. Roast the chicken in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the lid, cracking the dough. Pierce the thigh to make sure the bird is cooked thoroughly. Replace the lid and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook over moderate heat until just wilted. Transfer the brussels sprouts onto a platter.

  3. Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 5 minutes; discard the garlic. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook over moderately low heat until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the demi-glace mixture and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the pan juices into a measuring cup. Discard the fat from the juice, then add the juices to the mushrooms. Remove the chicken skin and slice the breast meat. Cut off the legs, cutting them into two pieces each. Arrange the chicken on the brussels sprouts on the platter, spoon the mushrooms and sauce on top, and serve with chunks of the baked pizza dough, for dipping. Enjoy!

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