The Bacon Chicken

Some days, you know exactly what you’re going to make for dinner. Those days are fantastic: you have a plan, you know you have all the ingredients, and there is little creative thinking involved. I wish I had more of those days.

Other days, you find yourself at a complete loss at 4 PM and have to scramble to throw together dinner. Sometimes, that can lead to disaster. Other times, the result is genius. Like, let’s say, an idea (a dream really) about taking a whole chicken and wrapping it in bacon and just roasting it like that.

bacon chicken love

The Bacon Chicken
with Insanely Delicious Bacon Flavored Cabbage


1 whole chicken
10 (or more, depending on size) strips of thick cut nitrate-free bacon, cut in half
1 lemon
1 onion
1 sprig of rosemary
6 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1/2 head of cabbage (about 4 cups), sliced


  1. Halve the lemon and garlic cloves, quarter the onion (don’t worry about peeling)
  2. ♥ Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a towel
  3. ♥ Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken cavity and over the skin
  4. ♥ Stuff cavity with the lemon, onion, garlic and rosemary
  5. ♥ Place bacon slices over entire exposed surface of chicken, wrapping evenly in a single layer – ensuring no chicken skin is left exposed (Kids LOVE doing this!) – if your bacon doesn’t stick then pat dry again and start over
  6. ♥ Spread sliced cabbage around bottom of a baking dish (no fat, no seasoning – trust us), set chicken on top of cabbage (a dutch oven or 12-14″ diameter cast iron pan works well)
  7. Roast uncovered at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, shake pan to stir cabbage every 20 minutes to prevent burning

This meal was delicious! Shocking, I know. But the bacon crisps up, creating an even more crispy and delicious chicken skin than we’ve ever had. Way better than fried chicken, in our opinion. And it’s only made better by the bacon flavored cabbage. There’s something about cabbage that makes it the perfect vessel for cooking with fat. We also served our meal with these plantains from Paleo on Main because I happened to have ripe ones in the pantry and knew I could locate the recipe. Needless to say, there were NO leftovers.

As always, steps marked with ♥ are suitable for kids to try!

About Matthew

Matthew McCarry has written 274 post in this blog.

Matt is the husband of Stacy and somehow manages to contribute to this blog in between taking care of three children, producing the Paleo View Podcast and cooking most of the food featured here.

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  • Elyse

    So I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing this next week. Look delicious! :)

    • Stacy & Matt

      It is delicious! Good luck with it!

      • Elyse

        In the oven RIGHT NOW. on a bed of bok choy with some sliced beets though instead of cabbage. we’ll see what happens! SO EXCITED. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited for a dinner. haha :)

        • Stacy & Matt

          Awesome! Hope it turns out!

  • Wildtree Courtney

    matt, this is how we cook thanksgiving turkey! it’s delicious and a beautiful presentation of the big bird! we serve it with roasted fall veggies, but we will add the cabbage this year as well. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Stacy & Matt

      Courtney, I shudder to think how much bacon I’d need to do a whole turkey!

      • Melissa Berkemeier Romano

        Stacy, one pound of bacon is plenty to cover a turkey! Keeps the breast from drying out too!! Totally going to make this recipe tonight using some chicken breasts I just thawed out. Hopefully the bacon will crisp before the breasts are overdone… I’ll let you know! Maybe I’ll wrap them all the way around and flip them half way through??

  • Ann Vetter-Hansen

    This was super good. I only stuffed my chicken with onion chunks, but the rest was the same, and I’m now a cabbage under chicken convert. Dude. Bacon fat will never cease to amaze me.

    • Stacy & Matt

      Oh yeah. The cabbage sauteed in bacon fat is a personal favorite of ours. It does make everything better!

  • freelenz

    … best thing you can do to a cabbage ;)

    • Stacy & Matt


  • Joy

    We served this a few nights ago with some dinner guests. It was delicious! Great inspiration for preparing our Thanksgiving turkey :)

    • Stacy & Matt

      I’d be concerned the bacon would burn on a turkey, but it’s worth a shot!

      • Sarah Lingle

        I just found this recipe and thought I’d comment. I always coat a turkey with a light layer of oil and then lay bacon over the top and sides of the turkey. Tent it with foil to cook, basting 2 or 3 times, and uncover it for the last 20-30 minutes to let the bacon crisp. Perfect every time!

  • Jeri

    WOW!  What an amazing recipe!  Took about 10 min to prepare and it cooked while we were at the gym – so easy to make and so delicious!  !   My 8 year old son told me it was the best chicken I had ever made!!  Will be adding this to our regular paleo menu! 

    • Stacy & Matt

      That’s great! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Alice Claussen

    My mom cooks this every year for Christmas since I was a kid but she doesn’t use the cabbage and I think this is a great idea!  Sure I’ll tell her about that! Thanks!

    • Stacy & Matt

      We’re big on cabbage. It makes everything better!

  • Kwaevyonn

    Was the chicken dry at all? Particularly in the breast area?

    • Stacy & Matt

      No, ours wasn’t. Perhaps yours was overcooked? I felt that the bacon grease kept it moist, but I suppose your mileage may vary. Thanks for trying it.

    • Stacy & Matt

      The cooking time would vary depending on the size of your chicken, how many pounds was yours? If you are able to find/afford one, a meat thermometer is one of our favorite kitchen gadgets!

  • Kwaevyonn

    I hadn’t tried it yet, I just wanted to know beforehand…I have since tried it and it came out great. Thanks.

    • Stacy & Matt

      Thanks! Glad to find out that it worked for you!

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  • Anne Gibson Mockus

    This was a big hit tonight in our house.  Used one of our insanely expensive pastured chickens & bacon from our pastured pig.  My BIL commented on how awesome the cabbage was.  :-)

    • Stacy & Matt

      Yeah, the whole pastured chickens were totally the biggest sticker shock for me. Particularly since they tend to be 25% smaller as well! Glad you tried and liked it. The cabbage was a serious stroke of genius by Stacy and is now our favorite way to have any vegetables.

  • Addie

    I made this and noticed that all the bacon that was on the bottom of the chicken was soggy. Has anybody else experienced this? I was thinking that maybe next time I will just cover the top of the chicken.

    • Stacy & Matt

      When we make this, I just cover the top and sides. Sorry if it seemed different!

    • Jenn Mendyk

      I wish i had read the comments before i made mine. I also covered the whole chicken following the direction of not leaving any skin not covered with bacon. I guess my dutch oven wasn’t big enough as i ended up with cabbage bacon fat soup. Iam sure the chicken will taste just fine. I haven’t had any yet as i made this ahead for meals. Liveand learn. I will do better next time as this dish sounds delicious!

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  • RC

    Is the bacon supposed to burn? I still have 30 min left on timer and most of the pieces are turning black…

    • Stacy & Matt

       It would cook too quickly if it weren’t thick cut or perhaps more processed than our uncured version. Hope it turned out OK!

      • RC

        It was uncured but next time I’ll get thicker – still delicious!

        • Stacy & Matt

          Definitely the thickness would make it cook slower – but glad it was still good!

  • Les

    I am intrigued : We are helping small community (black) farmers in South Africa who produce veg , chickens etc (see ) and help them to sell to our priveledged consumers. We are accordingly interested in ‘KIDS’ recipes — so what does Paleo stand for ? It certainly sounds good — like PAL….; Secondly , we want to buy your excellent sounding book re dinosaurs on allergies etc and keen to use your illustrations in our school-based lectures to MOMS and interested kids … would you mind ? Should sell more books of course. Rgs , Les .

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  • Lindsbinz86

    Made this for dinner tonight… AMAZING! I didn’t have a lemon so i used lemon pepper all over. SO GOOD! The cabbage was perfect, you’re a genius! Thanks for the awesome dinner, my hubby is stoked whenever bacon is involved so this was a hit all around :-)

    • Stacy & Matt

      Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  • Nathalie

    FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! I can’t believe I never thought of doing this! Mine is currently prepared and ready to go in the oven, it’s all I can do not to drool on it. Tonight’s dinner is going to be AMAZING! Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ll be posting this on my blog too, if you guys don’t mind. Of course I’ll link them back here!

    • Stacy & Matt

      Don’t mind at all! Glad you liked it!

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  • Mileni Corletto-Tung

    Made this for dinner tonight…super delicious!  Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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  • Elvia

    sounds just wonderful!! My family loves bacon and chicken!!

  • Siobhan

    I am SO excited to make this tonight! Thank you for posting the recipe.. :)

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  • Kelly Seow

    didn’t have any cabbage so i subbed chicken and swiss chard. so, so yummy!

    • Stacy & Matt

      Sounds good!

  • Jerimi

    I made this last week, and it was ridiculously tasty! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

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  • chris

    I’m wondering how fresh green beans would cook with this? We aren’t real cabbage lovers (although Irish) LOL??? Thoughts?

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  • ShelJT

    I’m not sure what kind of mutant chicken I’ve got, but it has been cooking for 2.5 hours and STILL isn’t cooked through. I love the concept here. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? Too much onion and lemon in the cavity, maybe?