Ina's Zuni Chicken Recipe...on a White Platter...Auntie Marcie Style:

I used Ina’s recipe and made additions and substitutions. I explain a few things here and the recipe is below:

I used Barberries instead of currants. Barberries are not as sweet as currants and added a sweet and sour punch to the salad. You can purchase Barberries here: nuts.com

I used shallots instead of garlic. You know my position on cloying overused garlic. Chicken and salad dressing had fabulous flavor.

I made two chickens, one with bread just like the recipe calls for and one with tiny potatoes for the gluten free people. I do have two cast iron skillets. Next time I would not cover them with foil for 30 minutes like Ina says, because the skin does not stay as crisp. If it sits uncovered for 30 minutes, it will still finish cooking and stay warm and moist and warm is all you need because it is served on top of a salad.

It’s a perfect recipe. The chicken breast is so very moist. I will swear allegiance to this method for home roasting chicken forever. I have never achieved such moist flavorful breast meat before in a home roasted chicken.

The salad: I added shredded swiss chard and kale to the baby arugula because I have so much in my garden. It holds up better to the chicken and hot juices. I piled it over to one side of the platter and kept the potatoes, veggies and bread separate. I added a blanched broccoli and mung bean sprouts sauté to the platter. We had three gluten free people at our dinner do I had to do something extra special for them.

No one could stop raving. You can’t tell from the picture how tender and succulent the meat was. You know I’ve made turkey at high heat and I don’t know why I never thought to make chicken that way but it sure works. The dark squares in the front of the picture are succulent crusty toasted pieces of bread that the chicken cooks on top of! Holy food god, Batman, this is a keeper.

THE RECIPE

A fresh whole chicken
One shallot
Fresh Thyme
One lemon

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and inside the cavity. Slice and crush half of the shallot and scoot it under the skin covering the breast. Now scoot some fresh thyme under there. Cut the lemon into quarters and place inside the cavity. Tie the legs together. Place in the refrigerator to marinate 4 – 6 hours.

One Baguette
One cast iron skillet
Preheat the CLEAN oven to 500 degrees

Slice the baguette into thick slices and cover the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the bread. Moisten the chicken with olive oil. Place the loaded skillet in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove and turn chicken over – I use rubber gloves- and place in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and flip chicken back upright. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Arugula plus any other hearty greens you have on hand (I add kale and swiss chard as they grow abundantly in my garden) Enough to fill your platter.

Chopped scallions, white and green parts
¼ c. vinegar (white wine, raspberry, red wine, or champagne)
½ c olive oil (walnut oil also works well)
1 t Dijon mustard
Remaining half shallot chopped
2 T Barberries which are sweet/tart or currants which are sweeter Salt and pepper

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper together in a measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil, stir in the scallions and Barberries or currants, and set aside. Place arugula on a platter. Pour dressing to taste over salad. Cut blackened bread into squares and toss onto salad. Remove lemon from cavity of chicken and save to garnish edges of salad plate. Cut chicken into serving sized pieces and place over salad. Pour hot juices from chicken over salad. Serve.

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