Zuni Cafe Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad
Last night for our Christmas Eve dinner I made the Zuni Café Roasted Chicken & Bread Salad from Judy Rodgers Zuni Café Cookbook. I had first read about this technique of roasting a chicken and the incredible bread salad a few years ago when it was all the rage and popping up on numerous food blogs and forums. I made it once for my family and it is always brought up as one of the favorite meals and frequently requested. A few key points are required to prepare a chicken in the style of the Zuni Café. Firstly it must be a small bird, no more than 3 ½ lbs and secondly, you need to salt the bird and let it dry brine in the fridge for 2 days prior to roasting. The final key point is roasting at a very high temperature for a relatively short amount of time. Doing all of this produces one of the best roasted chickens you will ever have the pleasure to enjoy. Exquisitely crisp skin on the entire bird and juicy succulent meat that is just out of this world. The bread salad while not a requirement is a real treat and a modern almost deconstructed version of a traditional stuffing. The salad is loaded with flavor from roasted pine nuts, slivered garlic, green onions, delicious vinaigrette and a final addition of pan juices from the roasted chicken. Served on a bed of baby arugula on a large platter is a feast to behold.