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Thanksgiving Roast Chicken, Zuni Cafe Style

A twist on Thanksgiving, make a chicken in less than hour adapted from the Zune Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts


Roast Chicken

  • 1 4- pound organic chicken
  • salt
  • fresh herbs such as rosemary sage, thyme (I used all three)

Bread Salad

  • 8 oz. Tuscan bread or similar peasant style chewy bread with crusts cut off torn in pieces
  • salt freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or pecans or nuts of choice
  • 1/2 pomegranate optional
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins or dried currants
  • arugula or other green such as frisee
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth or lightly salted water
  • 1/4 cup slivered scallions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves


  • Three days in advance (can be less) clean chicken, salt inside and outside. Loosen skin between breast and as much as leg and thigh you can without ripping skin.
  • Wrap loosely in plastic wrap or plastic bag. Refrigerate.
  • Take chicken out one hour before roasting.Stuff chicken with herbs underneath the skin.
  • Preheat oven to 450 F. If making the bread salad, now is a good time to toast the torn bread pieces.
  • Heat a cast iron frying pan in oven for at least 10 minutes. You can use a baking sheet, but cast iron pan is perfect for this high heat.
  • Put chicken in heated pan, breast side up.
  • Turn chicken over after 25 minutes, at which time chicken should easily yield. If not cook a little longer.
  • I like to turn the chicken back over for the last five minutes. Chicken should be golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before carving.

Bread Salad

  • This can be made prepped while chicken is in the oven.
  • Brush bread with olive oil. Toast bread and nuts until golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Combine olive oil with champagne vinegar.
  • Put currants or raisins in red wine vinegar to moisten. Set aside.
  • When ready to assemble toss bread and arugula with olive oil mixture.
  • Toss bread with olive oil mixture.
  • Saute scallions and garlic in a little olive oil. Add currents or raisins and add to the bread salad.
  • Drizzle some of the pan juices (from the chicken) onto the bread salad. Season with salt.
  • Put chicken on platter with bread salad.
  • Serve with optional pomegranate garnish, and roasted squash.
  • Baked squash recipe can be found here.