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Zuni roast chicken with bread salad from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant by Judy Rodgers

  • scallions
  • arugula
  • whole chicken
  • marjoram
  • dried currants
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • rustic white bread
  • Champagne vinegar
  • red wine vinegar
  • pine nuts
  • chicken stock

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Notes about this recipe

  • clcorbi on February 24, 2017

    We only made the chicken and it was delicious! I was only able to salt it for one day, and since it was a 3.5lb chicken, I imagine it would have been greatly improved after 2-3 days. Now that I know how quick this is to roast, I will salt it for the full amount of time next time and cook it on a weeknight. Our chicken also stuck to the skillet slightly when flipped, so I think I needed to heat the skillet a bit more aggressively.

  • adelina on January 08, 2017

    After spending a fortune on this dish at their cafe, I now realize how much time is allotted to make this. Very yum. Will be doubling the salad dressing next time.

  • Bloominanglophile on October 09, 2014

    Yes--ANOTHER review for Zuni Roast Chicken with Bread Salad!!! I admit, I'm usually "late to the table" (pun intended) when it comes to trying out popular recipes or purchasing cookbooks. So glad I finally tried this--has to be the best roast chicken I have made to date. I made the bread salad 2 nights in a row, as my daughter and I devoured it each night. It could have served three. If I was making this for more people than that, I would increase the salad ingredients proportionally. A note about the bread--I made this with a Tuscan loaf, which I later remembered is not made with salt. Hence, I had to keep fiddling with the seasoning. Next time I would pick a loaf that is made with salt. My chicken was a 4 lbs, but cooked in the time recommended in the recipe.

  • Barb_N on August 21, 2014

    As the saying goes, this recipe 'changed my life' or at least how I roast chicken. Who ever thought drying out the skin was a good thing? IT IS! It renders the fat and makes for crispy skin. I make the bread salad- subbing grape tomatoes for currants in the spring/summer. The salting is essential but it does not need to take 48 hours. I agree that you should use an organic chicken but don't like the skinny, bony-a** ones from the grocery. A nice plump bird is my favorite.

  • BlytheSpirit on June 25, 2014

    Just thought I would mention (since this roast chicken makes a regular appearance on my table) that it does not seem essential to me to salt the bird a day ahead. I have made this many times on the spur of the moment and it is still a fabulous way to roast chicken.

  • Zosia on December 17, 2013

    Excellent! Requires a little more time and attention than other roast chicken recipes but worth the effort. I used a cast iron skillet.

  • BlytheSpirit on October 14, 2013

    My third time making this recipe. This time I was able to get a three-pound chicken from the butcher. This is by far the best roast chicken I have ever made. I roasted it in my 10 inch cast iron skillet and poured out the fat midway thru roasting to prevent smoke (as suggested by others in the chowhound COTM thread). This is the only roast chicken recipe for me!

  • Kringler on October 14, 2013

    Wonderful at the Zuni Cafe and wonderful to make at home. A classic.

  • kjwright on April 25, 2012

    One of my favorite meals. The chicken is great, with juicy, flavorful meat and crispy skin. The bread salad is indeed great on its own, though it is over-the-top with the chicken drippings added. Plan this one ahead of time, and it is easy to do when it comes time to cook.

  • Jeulz on January 21, 2012

    Absolutely THE BOMB! Find the skinniest, organic chicken and high quality artisan bread. Start prepping 1 or 2 days prior to cooking. Easy, yet a bit time consuming. So worth it! I would not hesitate to serve this to any of my guests. Ranks up there as one of the most scrumptious of meals I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

  • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

    This was a wonderful meal! The chicken was flavorful, the meat juicy and the skin crispy. The bread salad was a perfect accompaniment. In retrospect, it was a little too time-consuming for a workday dinner, but it will definitely be repeated on a weekend.

  • avallance on December 08, 2011

    As below, my favourite roast chicken recipe. The recipe is elaborate but onece you've been through it once, you won't need the recipe again. I've not made the bread salad...

  • moreace01 on October 14, 2010

    This is my all-time favorite roast chicken recipe. As pp said, this recipe is elaborate (and wordy!) so be sure to thoroughly read through (maybe a few times) before starting so you aren't off-guard. The bread salad is also oustanding.

  • wester on September 03, 2010

    I have only made the bread salad so far. Two reasons are given for making chicken and salad together. But you can still make this without the chicken. One, you need to put the bread in a hot oven for a few minutes and it's good to use the coolingoff heat for that. Two, you are supposed to put a bit of the pan juices of the chicken in the salad, which I'm sure is even more delicious than this already was. This recipe is a bit elaborate, but it did have everyone asking for more. It's not difficult though, she really takes you by the hand, she tells you when to taste, and what to pay attention to. Do read the recipe carefully before you start. I didn't and I thought I was close to finishing off the salad when I still had to cook the scallions and put the bread in the oven. I will also try this with flatleaf parsley instead of greens. There definitely is some room for experiment in that department. This is a wellbalanced recipe though and I wouldn't want to change too much.

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