Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chicken In A Pot

James and I both love San Francisco's Zuni Cafe. Who doesn't? The entree to order at Judy Rodgers' Market Street institution is the roast chicken with bread salad, for two. For the full Zuni experience many diners start with fresh oysters and a caesar salad. Everything there is so good and made with such prime fresh ingredients that I am always trying to bring a little of the Zuni dining experience home to our table. I often thumb through Rodgers' lovely cookbook (a gift from James) looking for inspiration and recipes.
While paging through recipes I had collected I found a knock off, a recipe imitating Rodgers' chicken triumph and decided to give it a try. I mixed bread cut into 1 inch cubes, chopped black kale (the recipe called for chard), golden raisins, capers, chopped garlic and sliced shallots with a good quantity of olive oil, S&P and tossed the ingredients toether. I placed that mixture in my cast iron chicken pot and on top placed my chicken cut into 8 pieces. I covered the chicken (after seasoning of course) with parchment paper. With the pot's glass lid tightly on, the dish went into bake at 350º for 40 minutes. Next I raised the temperature to 425º and with the chicken uncovered continued to bake for 20 minutes until the skin was crackling crisp.
No it's not quite Zuni, a pale imposter to be honest. But it didn't take the 2 days that Rodgers' recipes requires or the nearly 2 hours roasting time. In our new little kitchen, still barely unpacked and ill-equiped it was a fond reminder of the good life on Market Street and a promise of many homemade dinners to come.

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