I first became aware of this recipe last fall from an Epicurious.com tweet. The post featuring How to Make Chicken Bread caught my attention. It sounded delicious, so I bookmarked the page, resolving to return later to try this roasted chicken.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Ina Garten preparing a similar dish. I pulled up my bookmarked post and compared the recipes. My understanding is that this recipe originates from a dish at the famous Zuni Cafe. I’ve never been to the Zuni Cafe, but the reactions from the tasters of Ina’s Roast Chicken with Bread & Arugula Salad, inspired me to create a shopping list and finally test this recipe.
Based on my pantry and herb garden staples, and my love of garlic, I tweaked the recipes to create my version of Roasted Chicken Bread with Arugula Salad.
Peace & Java
Prep Time: 1-2 days Cook Time: 50 min Difficulty: Moderate Servings: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups salad and 3-4 oz chicken
1 whole organic, farm-raised chicken, 3-4 pounds
6-8 sprigs thyme
6-8 sprigs sage
8 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 lemon, halved
1 tablespoon, kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground or to taste
4 slices stale sourdough, country or Italian bread, sliced 1-inch thick
1/4-1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
1/4 extra virgin olive oil, EVOO
1/4 cup water
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Arugula Salad with Chicken Bread
6-8 oz arugula, cleaned
1/2 cup green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons craisins
1. Place the chicken in a deep bowl or baking dish. Use your fingers, to gently loosen the skin from the breasts and thighs without breaking the skin. Carefully slide the sprigs of sage, thyme and the garlic under the skin. Put the lemon in the bird’s cavity. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. cover the chicken with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 450º. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and pat dry. Let chicken come to room temperature. Place the bread in a medium, 10-inch, cast-iron skillet in a single layer. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the bread. Roast for 30-35 minutes, turn it over and roast for 15-25 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove from oven. Place the chicken on a large plate or platter. Tent the chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
3. The bread will be almost burnt on the bottom and soft with the pan drippings on top. Cut the bread into 1-inch squares.
4. De-glaze the chicken drippings with 1/4-1/2 cup white wine.
5. For the Arugula Salad: whisk the vinegar, mustard, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper to taste together in a small bowl. Whisk in the water and olive oil. Place the arugula on a large platter, add the vinaigrette, and toss well with the craisins and green onions.
6. Sprinkle the salad with the Chicken Bread cubes. Carve the chicken and place it on top of the salad. Spoon the de-glazed pan juices over the chicken. Serve
NOTES, TIPS & TRICKS: To make a traditional vinaigrette use 1/2 cup EVOO and omit the water.
To make ahead, season and prepare the chicken and make the vinaigrette. Assemble the salad just before serving.