Chicken Baked on a Bed of Bread and Swiss Chard
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
This one-pot dish was inspired by chef Judy Rodgers's famous wood-fired roasted chicken at Zuni Café in San Francisco. Rodgers serves the chicken over bread and a salad, but Melissa Perello goes further and cooks the chicken over croutons tossed with greens, capers and golden raisins.
- 1/2 pound day-old peasant bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 loaf)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup salted capers, rinsed well
- 1/4 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
- 1 large bunch of Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 pounds)stems finely chopped, leaves torn into pieces
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon minced thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 3 1/2-pound chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces, or 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, capers, raisins, Swiss chard, shallots, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper. Spread the bread in a large enameled cast-iron casserole.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and arrange them over the bread. Cover the chicken with a piece of parchment paper and close the casserole with a heavy lid. Bake the chicken for 35 minutes.
- Remove the lid and parchment paper and increase the oven temperature to 400°. Bake the chicken for 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the chicken with the bread and greens.
Ripe, full-bodied Chardonnay.