Sunday Supper should nourish and ready you for the upcoming week. Share this roast chicken with family and friends. You will make them happy and maybe you will have enough leftovers for a glorious lunch on Monday!
Seasoning The Chicken
At least two days ahead, season the chicken. Rinse the bird and dry thoroughly. Slide a sprig of herb under the skin of the breast and the thigh. Be careful not to tear the skin. Sprinkle the salt (¾ teaspoon sea salt per # of chicken) and pepper over the chicken and sprinkle a little inside the chicken cavity. Cover loosely and refrigerate. (I don’t cover mine at all but this may not be practical, given your refrigerator space.)
Starting The Bread Salad
Preheat broiler.Cut bread into large chunks removing the bottom crust. I use ciabatta and leave the rest of the crust intact. Brush bread liberally with olive oil and broil briefly. Turn and crisp all sides.
Trim off anything that got too brown and tear into irregular chunks and bits. You should have approximately 4 cups of varied sizes of bread chunks/bits.
Combine ¼ cup olive oil with white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the torn bread. Taste for salt and pepper and toss again. Cover currants with red wine vinegar and warm water and set aside.
Roasting Chicken and Assembling Salad
Preheat oven to 475 F. Note here - ovens vary and bird sizes vary. If you cook this a few times, you will learn to adjust oven temperature so it works best for you. Convection ovens can be used for the first 30 minutes if you have one. You can probably reduce total cooking time by 5 or 10 minutes if you use a convection oven. Preheat a shallow flameproof roasting pan or skillet over medium heat. Place the very dry bird breast side up into the pan. It should sizzle.
Place in oven on the center rack and listen for it to sizzle again. It should start browning within 20 minutes. Raise the temperature slightly if it doesn’t. If it starts to brown too quickly, turn the temperature back down. After 30 minutes, turn the bird over. Roast another 10 to 20 minutes then turn breast side up again to re crisp skin for about 5 to 10 minutes. (You will be adding the bread salad to the oven here.) Total oven time will be 45 minutes to one hour.
Toast the pine nuts in the oven while the chicken is cooking and add them to the bread.
Saute the garlic and scallions in olive oil without browning and add to the bread.
Drain the plumped currants and add to the bread.
Dribble the chicken stock or water over the bread and fold everything together. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, vinegar and/or olive oil as needed.
Put the bread salad in a baking dish, tent with foil and set aside. Place the salad into the oven after you flip the chicken back to its breast up side to re crisp.
Finishing and Serving
Remove chicken from the oven and turn off the heat. Leave the bread salad in for 5 minutes. Lift chicken from the pan, tent with foil and set aside.
Pour the clear fat out and add add about a tablespoon of water to the drippings left in the pan. Drain any juice from the resting chicken back into the roasting pan.
Warm a platter in the oven. Place the warm bread salad into a bowl and toss with the pan drippings and greens.
Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss again. Taste for seasoning. Cut the chicken into pieces, spread the bread salad on the warm platter and nestle the chicken into the salad.