Cure your own bacon or use good commercial bacon such as Niman Ranch or Nueske’s. If you have it, wrap the chicken in caul fat (which can be purchased from a butcher) to hold the bird together, flavor it, and keep it moist. If you can’t find caul fat, tie it with butcher’s string and baste it several times as it cooks. Young spring chickens are preferable: They have a very delicate flavor and a tenderness that’s unrivaled. Buy yours from a local farm!
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, gently saute bacon until well browned. With a slotted spoon, remove and reserve bacon. Discard all but one tablespoon of bacon fat.
2. Add olive oil and butter and saute onion and shallots until tender. Add chicken stock and chives and heat through. Fold in cornbread and reserved bacon. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
3. Heat oven to 425°.
4. Split chickens in half along backbone. Leaving skin intact, remove rib cages, wings, and thigh bones; keep drum bones attached. Reserve removed bones for chicken stock.
5. Lay one half of the first chicken skin side down. Season the thigh cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff with cornbread mixture. Wrap breast around leg to create a tightly stuffed parcel. Place caul fat on top and tuck under. Repeat with remaining chicken halves.
6. Place chicken halves, bone up, in a roasting pan and cook in oven about 8 minutes. Lower temperature to 350° and cook about 15 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 160°. Remove from oven and let rest 3–5 minutes.
7. Place chicken halves on serving plates and drizzle Rosemary Meyer Lemon Jus over them.
Heat oven to 400°. In a small roasting pan or ovenproof skillet, toss chicken bones with about 1 tablespoon oil. Place in oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. In a medium saucepan or stockpot, add remaining oil and saute carrot, celery, onion, and shallots until onion is translucent. Add wine, lemon juice, and chicken bones. Lower heat to simmer and reduce until almost dry. Add chicken stock and reduce liquid by half. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and return to heat. Reduce liquid by half again and strain again. Return to low heat and add rosemary. Steep 1 minute. Remove rosemary and discard. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
Adapted from 555 recipe