One of the simplest, and most delicious recipes to make is a roast chicken. Roast Chicken made at home is special, nothing fancy, but super tasty. It doesn’t require many ingredients, just get your hands on the best chicken you can find, and we’ll cook it up together, with a few cubes of bread for an outstanding salad to serve alongside.
Zuni Cafe in downtown San Francisco makes a great roast chicken, and I believe this recipe is my take on Judy Rodger’s famous meal. Since restaurants are mostly suspended right now, except for some take-out, let’s create our own chicken experience right in our kitchens.
The ingredients are few, so do your best to find good quality, it makes a difference. A nice rustic bread to dice up and lay under the chicken, creates the crispiest of cubes, so we can toss into fresh greens. The salad is as important as the chicken, and an added crisp apple and creamy avocado give it a fresh California feel. The entire meal is just that, chicken and salad, but probably one of the best meals you’ll ever eat.
3 1/2 pound chicken, or close to that
3 tablespoons soft butter, divided
2 cups cubed rustic bread, I used sourdough
salt & pepper
4 cups spring greens
1 apple, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
pinch of salt & pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil or sunflower oil
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Rub chicken with 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Tie legs together, set aside.
- Place cubes of bread in a small roasting pan or large iron skillet, toss with remaining butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to combine.
- Place chicken on top of bread cubes, trying to get most of them under chicken. Roast chicken in oven for 30 minutes, rotate and reduce temperature to 425 degrees. Roast for 20-30 minutes more, depending upon weight of chicken. Thermometer should read 170 degrees in thigh.
- Remove chicken from pan and let rest on cutting board for 20 minutes. Toss greens, apple and avocado in a bowl. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and Dijon to a jar with fitted lid, shake. Add oil and shake until combined.
- Add croutons to salad, omit any croutons that are too dark. Pour dressing over croutons, toss. Carve chicken and serve with salad. Enjoy!