We pay homage to a San Francisco cafe’s roast chicken
For our own take on Zuni Cafe’s roast chicken with bread salad, we started by butterflying a whole chicken and salting it overnight so it would cook quickly and evenly and be juicy and well-seasoned.
Before roasting the chicken in a 475-degree oven, we covered the bottom of a skillet with bread cubes that we had moistened with oil and broth and then draped the chicken on top. The bread cubes toasted and browned beneath the bird while absorbing its juices to create a mix of moistened, crispy-fried, and chewy pieces all packed with savory flavor.
To finish the dish, we built a vinaigrette of champagne vinegar, oil, currants, thinly sliced scallions, Dijon mustard and chicken drippings that we tossed with peppery arugula and the toasted bread. We served the salad alongside the carved chicken so the greens didn’t wilt.
Roast Chicken with Warm Bread Salad
Serves 4 to 6
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
4 (1-inch-thick) slices country-style bread (8 ounces), bottom crust removed, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces (5 cups)