So I made the dandelion salad again and thought it would be nice with a roast chicken. This time I am using some stale homemade bread that my husband has been making to make some croutons for the salad. (You can take a look at his blog at: www.breadtastic.wordpress.com) I also used “i regali” (the giblets) that I got from the chicken to put on top too, but you could also use bacon or even just use the croutons.
I had the bread so all I needed was extra virgin olive oil, some garlic, fresh parsley and thyme and pecorino romano (and i also added a few red pepper flakes.) First I sliced the bread and put them in a large bowl.
Then I mashed a clove of garlic with some salt to make a paste and mixed that in with some extra virgin olive oil. To make croutons you only really need evoo and bread and toast it in the oven, but I like mine a little bit more extravagant since this was the only starch with the meal.
Put the slices of bread in a bowl and mix the olive oil and garlic with the bread with your hands. Then I line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and you can throw it in the oven while you are roasting your chicken. Which brings me to the chicken!
I like the simplicity of a good roast chicken. I do not eat it every day, probably not even once a month. Since it is such a special meal I believe in buying the best roast chicken you can get. It doesn’t have to be a bresse or anything like that, an organic air-chilled chicken is the best. (I find the ones that are not air chilled have a rubbery, waterlogged texture). Then I put some salt in the cavity and maybe some fresh thyme if i have it, and then truss it. I use a cast iron frying pan and rub some duck fat on the bottom and place the chicken in the pan. Thats it. The secret to great roast chicken is to start out with a good bird and roast it at 450 degrees. Its really not difficult or mysterious.
So then I grate some hard cheese and chop the parsley and thyme and when the croutons are toasty, put them back in the bowl and toss. They are so good and look like this:
I know the chicken is done when the bird is brown all over and the juices that run out of the chicken are clear yellow and are not rosy. Any pink in the juice and it needs to go back in the oven. For a 3 1/2 lb. bird it takes about an hour and a half. But don’t go by time, go by the juice test.
So there you have such a simple and elegant dinner. I think its healthy too!
You should try it and tell me how yours turns out!