Adam is back with this insanely amazing Bread Salad with Roasted Chicken! It’s a little Zuni-esque and it’s freaking fantastic!
The amount of grilling coming out of our kitchens these days is wild. Neither Adam, nor I, have turned on our inside stoves for the last few weeks because it’s just insanely hot. This Bread Salad with Roasted Chicken was one that we fired up on Adam’s Pellet Grill a few weeks ago and holy toledo it’s fantastic! Roasted Chicken, summer peaches, a shallot-y vinaigrette, fresh greens… it’s fantastic! You need it before the temps cool down!
Let’s get into the components of this Bread Salad with Roasted Chicken:
First – we’re dry bringing a chicken. That means coating the whole chicken with a seasoned salt mixture and placing it in the fridge for a few days to “dry out!” This ensure the crispiest crust and let’s the flavor from the salt infusion permeate the skin!
Second – the actual salad portion of this consists of arugula (or any green of your choice), stone fruit, chives and chunky croutons. This part of the salad is very interchangeable. If you can’t find peaches, use another stone fruit. Or any other fruit for that matter. Apples would be delish if you’re making this more towards the fall months.
Third – and last part of this salad – is the shallot vinaigrette which is absolutely delightful and you should make a double batch and use it for other salads and roasted veggies!
What you’ll need:
Bread Salad with Roasted Chicken
- 4-5 pound whole chicken giblets removed
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 whole lemons cut in half
- 1 pound rustic loaf of bread crusts removed with a serrated knife and torn into 2-3 in pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 fresh peaches cut into wedges (any seasonal stone fruit works)
- 2-3 handfuls baby arugula
- 1/2 bunch fresh chives cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and pepper
- 24-48 hours before roasting the chicken you’ll need to start the dry brine. Combine salt, thyme, pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder in a small bowl and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place the chicken onto a rack in a roasting pan and sprinkle liberally with the salt mixture making sure to get the bottom, inside cavity wings. Tuck the wings behind the breast (or not if you enjoy the extra crispy bits ) and tie the legs. Place chicken uncovered into the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, this will slowly dehydrate the skin, the end result after roasting will be the most crispy skin ever.
- Preheat a pellet grill to 425 according to the manufacturer's directions (I used hickory pellets.) Allow chicken to sit at room temp for about 30 minutes while the grill heats up. Alternatively, you can do this in a regular oven at the same temp.
- Rub the chicken with the olive oil and place the chicken directly on the grill in the center, insert a grill safe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and set the alarm to 165. Depending on the size of the chicken this will take 1-1:15 hrs. Arrange cut lemons cut side up on the grill to roast along with the chicken.
- Make the vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine, or combine in a mason jar with a lid and shake to blend. Set aside.
- Check the chicken after 30 mins, rotate if necessary to help even browning. If lemons look roasted and juicy remove and reserve to squeeze over the carved chicken. Continue to cook until 165. Once at temp remove from the grill and allow to rest for at least 30 mins.
- Toss the torn bread in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, place directly on the grill around the outer edges to make sure you get some char. Close the lid for about 5 min and then flip the chunks to ensure even toasting. Continue cooking and turning until the chunks are golden and toasted for 10-15 mins or so. Remove from the grill and place into a large bowl, toss with 1/2 of the vinaigrette to really coat the chunks and let cool slightly. When ready to serve, toss the remaining salad ingredients on top, toss and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with extra salt and pepper.
- After the chicken has rested for 30 min you can carve and place onto a serving platter and douse with the juice from the grilled lemons and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt. Serve on top or on the side of the tossed salad.
- NOTE ** This isn’t a traditional smoked chicken, this is a beautifully roasted chicken with just a hint of smoke flavor from the pellet grill. Pellet grills are essentially a convection oven allowing you to roast a perfect chicken outdoors without turning the oven on inside!