Half Chicken with Sherry Onion Glaze

It’s the season of dinner parties and winter gatherings, and we wanted to come up with the perfect go-to recipe that’s simple to make, minimizes food waste, and is guaranteed to impress everyone at the table. Our culinary content producer, Nick Anderson, based this dish on one that he featured on the menu as Chef/Owner of Minneapolis wine bar and eatery Bar Brava.

The recipe makes the most of a whole roasting chicken: The bird is split in half, seared in an oven-safe skillet, roasted in the oven, and basted with a garlicky herb butter. The chicken bones are even used to create a rich sherry onion glaze. The final result is buttery and aromatic; the sherry adds the necessary acid to balance everything out. A generous garnish of chopped chives adds some bright green crunch. Honestly, is there anything more comforting on a chilly evening?

“The recipe kind of treats chicken like you would a nice piece of steak,” Nick explains. “I'm a big proponent of treating every single ingredient — no matter how simple or cheap or basic it is — with the same care and attention to detail you would to anything. For example, I think cooking a burger should demand just as much focus, craft, and attention to detail as, say, cooking foie gras or scallops or truffle pasta.”

It’s the same precision and thoughtfulness that we bring to all the recipes we develop for our clients — and to all our work outside of the kitchen, from strategy to writing to design. No matter how small the project or how simple the recipe, we care about making it the best it can be.

Bon appétit!

Half Chicken with Sherry Onion Glaze

Serves: 2 to 4


  • 1 whole medium chicken
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 large yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 sprigs thyme, bound with twine
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Minced chives, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. To separate the two halves of the chicken: Place the chicken on its back on a large cutting board. Locate the breast bone in the center of the bird, place a very sharp knife just to the right of the bone, and slice down to separate the breast from the carcass. Once you hit the shoulder bone, locate the joint and cut through it. Then, follow the contour of the backbone with your knife to find the leg joint. Cut through the joint and continue slicing toward the tail to remove one half of the chicken. Repeat with the other side. Set the remaining chicken carcass aside.
  3. Place one half on a sheet pan and season both sides liberally with salt. Store the salted half in the refrigerator, uncovered, while you make the glaze. (Save the other half chicken for another time).
  4. To make the glaze: Place the chicken carcass on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack, and roast in the oven until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  5. Transfer the carcass to a large stock pot, add the onions, and cover with cold water. Bring to a very low simmer and cook for 4 hours.
  6. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve, wipe the pot clean with a paper towel, and return the stock to the pot. Discard the carcass and onions. Bring the stock to a boil and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until there is about ½ cup of stock remaining. The sauce will be dark brown and viscous. Season with the sherry vinegar and add salt to taste. Reserve at room temperature. (Note: the glaze can be made a day in advance, be sure to bring it to room temperature before brushing it onto the chicken).
  7. To cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over high heat. Add the grapeseed oil. When the oil starts smoking, lower the heat to medium and place one half chicken skin-side down in the pan. Cook until the skin starts to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and return to the stove over medium heat. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and garlic to the pan and baste the chicken with the infused butter for 3 minutes.
  9. Flip the chicken and continue to baste until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165° on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 more minutes.
  10. Increase the oven to broil, transfer the chicken to a sheet pan, and brush the sauce over the skin. Broil the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is glazed onto the skin and it starts to bubble.
  11. Transfer the chicken to a plate, generously garnish with minced chives, and serve with an herby salad.
  12. Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leftover glaze can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
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