Roast Chicken with Lemons & Bread Salad (Panzanella)


So not a lot of time today to make dinner, but its still an opportunity to try something new. Marcella’s book has a LOT of recipes so how should I choose the next one? Google. Found a forum where Marcella’s fans were nominating their favourite recipes – exactly what I wanted. Lots of suggestions but I settled on Roast Chicken because it was supposed to be very quick, simple and delicious. So I figured I could have a go at a slightly more complicated veggie or salad. Someone said that they had made the roast chicken with the Bread Salad and it was a really good meal. So that’s what we are having tonight.

This chicken dish really is that simple. One chicken, 2 lemons and some salt (which I forgot). Lemons inside chicken, turn once, turn the heat up once. Done. What more can I say – other than don’t forget to salt the skin. It definitely could have done with some seasoning. But still good! Basted perfectly. I think the method of putting it in breast-side down, first means that all the juices run to the breast so that when you turn it over its pre-basted. Skin was perfect.

The Bread Salad was generally technically easy. The technique used to remove the acidity from the onion worked perfectly. Washing the onion was a bit lengthy but I had the time so that was no problem. The garlic, anchovy and caper mix was easy. The toasting of the bread was tricky as the oven was already in use. Managed to use the BBQ to toast them though – just put some foil down on the grill, spread the bread out evenly and closed the lid. I checked it after 3-5 mins and turned them. It worked perfectly. The hardest part was peeling the tomatoes with a vegetable peeler! Think I might do the boiling water/ice water method to remove the skins next time.

The result was very good. Not OMG, that taste is amazing, but wow – great meal. The chicken really should have been seasoned – my rule says if I get it wrong I have to make it again until I get it right. I do want to get the chicken right, but it wasn’t far off. Will definitely make it again – it was just so easy and good to eat. The bread salad was really tasty. Will make that again, and would try it next time I have to bring a salad somewhere…

Forgot to take a photo though!

Roast Chicken with Lemons – p. 327

Bread Salad (Panzanella) – p. 554

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking – Marcella Hazan

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