Roast Chicken and Toasted Bread Salad

I’m still reminiscing about the amazing culinary experience I had in San Francisco when I visited. What’s an amazing restaurant in San Francisco? Zuni Café, a James Beard Foundation Winner for “Outstanding Restaurant.”

Zuni Café is known for its roast chicken, and indeed, it is oh-so outstanding.

When I went to Zuni Café, my sister and I shared a salad with roast chicken and hunks of Tuscan bread. It was phenomenal, yet seemingly so simple. And that’s when the wheels started turning: how could I create a Zuni Café inspired Roast Chicken and Toasted Bread Salad at home.

Picture bright green frisée, tossed with toasted pine nuts, sweet and tangy vinegar marinated zanté currants in a rich garlic olive oil. Chunks of crispy, juicy roasted chicken intertwined with oversized warm olive oil croutons. Sign me up!

Here’s my take on the incredible Zuni Café Roast Chicken and Toasted Bread Salad.

 

Makes: 4 dinner-portion salads

The Ingredients

1 whole chicken (I like Bell & Evans Organic!) OR sub a pre-roasted chicken, skin removed and cut into chunks

2 packages frisée, washed and stems removed

1 large bread boule (I absolutely love Ecce Panne Neo-Tuscan Bake at Home Boule)

3 heaping tablespoons zanté currants

½ cup pine nuts

1 bunch scallions, both ends removed, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 medium garlic cloves, slivered

~4 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

~3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

The Steps

Preheat oven to 375.

Place currants in a small bowl with 1 cup room temperature water and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Stir and let stand for 1 hour. Stir again to separate currants.

In a non-stick pan over medium heat, place pine nuts and roast for 10-15 minutes, tossing often, until golden brown. Remove from heat, and place in small bowl.

For chicken: Wash chicken and remove giblets. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Roast in oven (with no marinade) for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This should be the perfect time, but check to make the temperature is at least 165 degrees. Remove chicken from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes.

For bread chunks: While chicken is resting, place oven on broil. Cut boule in half width-wise. Use your hands to hollow out the center of each boule half, into 2 inch chunks. Place bread chunks on a foil-lined cookie sheet (to avoid extra cleanup), and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden. Flip chunks to other side and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Broil that side for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a saucepan, place ¾ cup olive oil and slivered garlic. Heat over medium/low heat for 3-4 minutes until garlic softened. Remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar, scallions and currants. Stir. Adjust vinegar and olive oil amount depending on preference and amount of dressing.

Toss frisée with half of the dressing. Add pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again. Plate. Carve chicken into rough chunks. Include skin if you choose. Place chicken chunks and bread chunks on frisée. Drizzle remainder of dressing. Serve immediately!

 

The Steps with Pictures

Preheat oven to 375.

Place currants in a small bowl with 1 cup room temperature water and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Stir and let stand for 1 hour. Stir again to separate currants.

In a non-stick pan over medium heat, place pine nuts and roast for 10-15 minutes, tossing often, until golden brown. Remove from heat, and place in small bowl.

 

For chicken: Wash chicken and remove giblets. Place chicken in a roasting pan, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Roast in oven (with no marinade) for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This should be the perfect time, but check to make the temperature is at least 165 degrees. Remove chicken from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes.

For bread chunks: While chicken is resting, place oven on broil. Cut boule in half width-wise. Use your hands to hollow out the center of each boule half, into 2 inch chunks. Place bread chunks on a foil-lined cookie sheet (to avoid extra cleanup), and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden. Flip chunks to other side and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Broil that side for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a saucepan, place ¾ cup olive oil and slivered garlic. Heat over medium/low heat for 3-4 minutes until garlic softened. Remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar, scallions and currants. Stir. Adjust vinegar and olive oil amount depending on preference and amount of dressing.

In a saucepan, place ¾ cup olive oil and slivered garlic. Heat over medium/low heat for 3-4 minutes until garlic softened. Remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar, scallions and currants. Stir. Adjust vinegar and olive oil amount depending on preference and amount of dressing.

Toss frisée with half of the dressing. Add pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again. Plate. Carve chicken into rough chunks. Include skin if you choose. Place chicken chunks and bread chunks on frisée. Drizzle remainder of dressing. Serve immediately!

 

 

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