Roast Chicken with Warm Bread Salad and Crispy Potatoes

After years of cooking, I’m rarely intimidated by anything in the kitchen. But I’ll admit to being a wee bit nervous before I spatchcocked this chicken. It ended up being a piece of cake and now I can’t imagine roasting a chicken any other way. Crispy skin, moist meat…what’s not to like!

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The original recipe calls for letting the chicken sit with salt overnight. I forgot to do that and it turned out delicious so I’m going to go ahead and say skip that step. I also added potatoes to the roasting pan so they could soak up some of the chicken fat while they cooked. It was an excellent idea, if I do say so myself. A version of this meal will likely be a weekly staple in our house as the weather continues to get cooler. In fact, I’m making it again tonight!

Roast Chicken with Warm Bread Salad and Crispy Potatoes
Modified from America’s Test Kitchen from Cook’s Illustrated

1 (6-7-pound) roasting chicken, giblets discarded
Kosher salt and pepper
4 (1-inch-thick) slices country-style bread (8 ounces), bottom crust removed, cut into pieces
2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons dried currants
5 ounces (5 cups) baby arugula

Place chicken, breast side down, on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut through bones on either side of backbone; discard backbone. Do not trim off any excess fat or skin. Flip chicken over and press on breastbone to flatten. Brush 2 teaspoons oil over chicken skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck wings behind back and turn legs so drumsticks face inward toward breasts.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Spray 12-inch stainless steel skillet with vegetable oil spray. Toss bread and potatoes with broth and 4 tablespoons oil until pieces are evenly moistened. Arrange in skillet in single layer. Place the chicken on top of the bread and potatoes.

Roast chicken until skin is deep golden brown and thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through roasting. (I can’t find roasting chickens smaller than 6 lbs, so I roasted mine for 70 minutes).

While chicken roasts, whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper together in small bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil. Stir in scallions and currants and set aside. Place arugula in large bowl.

Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. While the chicken is resting, put the pan with the bread and potatoes back in the oven to stay warm and keep crisping (the oven should be off but the residual heat will do the trick).

Carve chicken and whisk any accumulated juices into vinaigrette. Add bread, potatoes, and vinaigrette to arugula and toss to evenly coat. Transfer salad to serving platter and serve with chicken.