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Roast Chicken with Bread Salad (Judy Rodgers Style)

 This crispy roast chicken is simple and divine. Roasted over artisan bread cubes that become crispy while baking and then tossed with salad, this one dish meal is fabulous!
 This crispy roast chicken is simple and divine. Roasted over artisan bread cubes that become crispy while baking and then tossed with salad, this one dish meal is fabulous!

 I first wrote about this chicken in 2011. It was one of the first posts I did and frankly, I can’t believe I’ve been writing that long. But that’s beside the point…The point is I love this chicken and I remember when I posted the recipe a friend said to me that it really took her a long time and though she loved the chicken she felt it was a lot of work. Well no more my friends! I had planned on redoing this chicken with new photos because I love it so much when lo and behold Cook’s Illustrated just came out with a brand new version. This version is no less delicious than the original but takes so much less time and we all know time is one thing we never seem to have enough of.

 This crispy roast chicken is simple and divine. Roasted over artisan bread cubes that become crispy while baking and then tossed with salad, this one dish meal is fabulous!

Well…this chicken…Of course I was too hungry and didn’t even think to take photos of this lovely bird resting in the cast iron skillet surrounded by lovely crunchy golden cubes of bread drenched in the golden broth of this beautiful bird. Combining those with the arugula dressed with a tangy vinegar mustard vinaigrette is pure heaven. And did I mention how the sweetness of the currants plays off with the saltiness of the chicken? This chicken is glorious and I don’t say those words lightly. It has always been a favorite and now with this super simplified method I do believe this might become a regular in my kitchen!

I do want to mention that to get the most out of this chicken it does require planning ahead. But then again all great dates require planning and this bird is one great date! It really is pretty simple and involves something so easily done as spatchcocking a chicken. In other words, one must cut the backbone out of the chicken which is easily done if you own a great pair of kitchen shears. Which you should. They are one of my favorite tools! After that it is a matter of salting this baby and resting her on a rack in the fridge overnight.This technique not only flavors this girl perfectly, it also allows the skin to air dry which makes for a super crisp chicken when she emerges from the oven.

This is a perfect weekend dish. And with any luck you may even have enough for a second date! Oh…the possibilities!

 This crispy roast chicken is simple and divine. Roasted over artisan bread cubes that become crispy while baking and then tossed with salad, this one dish meal is fabulous!
These other chicken dishes sound pretty good too! Check out this lemon sheet pan chicken from Erin at Well Plated.  And this chicken with bacon herb butter from Lori at Recipe Girl.
And then because one can never have too much chicken:

Honey Glazed Chicken with Lemon and Olives is filled with flavor and perfect for a family meal. Glazed with a bit of honey and the zest of lemon this is on regular rotation at our house. #chicken #recipes
Don’t Lose This Recipe!
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 This crispy roast chicken is simple and divine. Roasted over artisan bread cubes that become crispy while baking and then tossed with salad, this one dish meal is fabulous! #chicken #roastchicken #breadsalad #recipes www.thisishowicook

Yield: 4 ServingsAuthor: Abbe OdenwalderPrint Recipe

Roast Chicken with Bread Salad

This crispy roast chicken is simple and divine. Roasted over artisan bread cubes that become crispy while baking and then tossed with salad, this one dish meal is fabulous!
prep time: 40 MINScook time: 50 MINStotal time: 90 mins


  • 1 4 lb whole chicken
  • Morton Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 8 ounces country style artisan bread, bottom crust removed, cut into 1″ pieces (You should have about 5 cups)
  • 1/4 c chicken broth
  • 6 T plus 2 t extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T champagne vinegar
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 2 T dried currants
  • 5 c baby arugula or baby lettuce


  1. Place chicken, breast side down on cutting board. Cut out the backbone of the chicken. Discard. Flip chicken over and press on breastbone to flatten.
  2. Using your fingers, carefully loosen skin covering breasts and legs. Rub 1/2 t salt under skin of each breast and 1/2 t salt under skin of each leg. Rub 1/2 t of salt into the cavity of the bird. Tuck wings behind back and turn legs so drumsticks face toward breasts. Place chicken on wire rack which has been placed on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475. Spray a 12″ cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Toss bread with broth and 2 T oil until pieces are evenly moist. Arrange bread in skillet in single layer, with majority of crusted pieces near center, crust side up.
  4. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of bread. Brush with 2 t of oil and sprinkle with 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Roast until chicken skin is deep golden brown. This should take about 45-50 minutes and you should rotate the skillet halfway through roasting. If your chicken is larger, please use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The thickest part of the breast should register 160 and the thighs at 175.
  5. While chicken roasts, whisk vinegar, mustard, 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper together in a small mixing cup. Whisk in remaining 1/4 c olive oil. Stir in scallions and currants and set aside. 
  6. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest uncovered for 15 minutes. Run a metal spatula under bread in skillet. You should have a nice mixture of soft and golden brown crispy pieces. Add salad to the skillet. Carve chicken and whisk any juices into the vinaigrette. Add vinaigrette to salad and toss to evenly coat salad and bread. Transfer salad to platter and serve with chicken.


Prep Time does not include the 24 hour resting time in the fridge!
Thanks Judy Rodgers and Cooks Illustrated!
Created using The Recipes Generator

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  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    April 13, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I was lucky enough to eat this (back in the day) at Zuni Cafe SF. I was amazed at the depth of flavor (especially in those bread cubes)and am thrilled to hear it can be achieved it home. GREG

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    April 13, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    This looks terrific! Love the idea of the bread cubes. And the chicken. And, well, everything. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    April 14, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Wow, this sounds fantastic! I've done a similar Dorie Greenspan recipe, but I'm thinking it was just some slices. I love the idea of cubes of bread—that would be my favorite part of the meal!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    April 14, 2018 at 1:08 am

    You were lucky! Not sure how this compares but I can tell you that I am in love with it. We did try to go there once but it was closed. In any case, I bet you will be happy. Those bread cubes deliver!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    April 14, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Crisp chicken, crunchy bread bites and a simple vinaigrette…a perfect meal, Abbe.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde de Broekert
    April 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I can just imagine the rich flavor of those bread cubes. Delicious!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    April 14, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Saving..:) I want to try this one day!Thank you:)

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    April 14, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    We just cleaned both ovens LOL..I'll wait a bit:)I am sure those cubes deliver w/ the vinaigrette and arugula..etc♥

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    April 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    It looks delicious Abbe!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    The chicken salad looks super delicious!!

  • Reply
    HWC Magazine
    April 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Love your tricks for getting this chicken skin extra crispy. Wow! You have been blogging a long time now. It feels so good to redo those old photos and your turned out lovely. Take Care

  • Reply
    April 16, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    You cook the bread with the chicken? Now that is really interesting and quite inspiring. The chicken looks delicious as all of yours chicken dishes to, but I bet the bread is the highlight of the dish. But then, I am a bread lover. 🙂 Fabulous dish!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    This is a terrific meal!! Great photos in this post too, Abbe!

  • Reply
    Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    April 17, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Crunchy golden cubes of bread–that's going to stick with me until I try this recipe! You're speaking my language here :). This is one beautiful dish!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 18, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Wow, this does look fantastic and I do love roasted chicken! Look forward to trying this recipe/method soon, Abbe.

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