Recipe by Mr. Capers
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, this simple dinner sidesteps the issue of doing a whole roast chicken and gets a satisfying dinner on the table quick.
- 4 cups French bread, cut or torn into 1 inch cubes, (about 6 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 4 chicken breast halves, bone-in, skin-on (at least 10 oz. each)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic, (about 1 medium clove)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme leaves, minced fresh, or 1/4 tsp. dried
- 2⁄3 cup chicken broth, (low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
- 4 ounces baby arugula (baby mustard is great, about 7 cups, lightly packed) or 4 ounces other strong greens (baby mustard is great, about 7 cups, lightly packed)
- 1 medium tomatoes, core, medium chop (seed if you wish)
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- shaved parmesan cheese (to serve)
Directions See How It's Made
- Place oven rack at lowest level and preheat oven to 450.
- Toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Place bread in 8 inch baking dish and set aside.
- Dry chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until hot. Place chicken in skillet, skin side down, and saute until skin is deep golden color, about 5 minutes.
- Place chicken, skin side up, on bread cubes in baking dish and bake until the thickest part of the breast is 160-165 degrees and the bread is spotty brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Take care, don't overcook the breasts!
- Transfer chicken to cutting board. When chicken is cool enough, take meat off bones and cut into pieces similar in size to bread cubes. Throw away the bones.
- While chicken is baking, pour off fat in skillet, add the last tablespoon of oil, the garlic and thyme, and cook for a moment until the garlic is fragrant. Add broth and scrape up any brown bits from skillet. Cook until thickened slightly, stir in vinegar, cover, and take off the heat.
- Toss bread cubes in a bowl with most of dressing mixture in skillet - reserve 2 tablespoons - add chicken and any juices from it. Then add arugula, tomato, pine nuts and the remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste - remember, the cheese will add some salty taste. Toss a final time. Garnish with Parmesan shavings and serve.
- (To gild the lilly a bit, you can add what Lydia Bastianich calls a final "blessing" of extra virgin olive oil. Or, put that on the table. Some will find it fine without.).