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For the roasted chicken:
1 4-5lb whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
8 garlic cloves
Handful fresh thyme
Handful fresh oregano
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
For the bread salad:
1 (1lb) loaf pane rustica, cut into ½” cubes
Pan drippings from roasted chicken
extra-virgin olive oil (as needed), plus 3 tablespoons
1 large shallot, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups wild arugula (optional)
1 ½ cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pitted green or Castelvetrano olives, quartered
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup currants
1 lemon zested and juiced
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Fresh oregano, for garnish
Basil leaves (larger leaves torn; small leaves kept in-tact), for garnish
Let's get Cooking...
To make the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, leaving one rack on the lowest setting (and removing additional racks if necessary).
Line a baking sheet with foil. Assemble the vertical roaster according to package instructions and place on the foil-lined baking sheet.
Lather the chicken with extra-virgin olive oil. Season liberally all over with salt and pepper. Put the lemon, garlic and herbs inside the cavity of the bird. Using butcher’s twine, tightly secure the wing tips (or tuck them under the backbone) to the side of the chicken. Carefully place the chicken onto the vertical roaster, while making sure the stuffing doesn’t fall out. Tightly tie the legs together to keep the aromatics in place while roasting.
Put the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 hour, 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool just enough to handle, 15-20 minutes. Slide the chicken off the roaster onto a platter. Cover with foil. Reserve the pan juices.
Keep the oven on at 400 for the bread salad. Put the oven rack on the upper third.
To make the bread salad: Put the cubed bread and shallots onto the same baking sheet used for the chicken. Evenly pour the reserved pan juices over the bread. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine, making sure the bread is evenly coated. If you need more moisture, add olive oil as needed.
Toast the bread mixture for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven into a large serving bowl.
Cool for 5-10 minutes. While the croutons cool, make the lemon dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Into the cooled croutons, add the arugula if using, tomatoes, almonds and currants. Pour over the lemon dressing. Toss to combine. Garnish with basil, oregano and shaved Parmesan.
To serve: Remove the twine and the aromatics from the cavity of the chicken and discard. Carve the chicken and place on a serving platter. Serve with the bread salad.