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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by the Zuni Cafe roast chicken with bread salad. This single-portion version is simplified and much quicker. I recommend using a high-quality, naturally raised bird from a producer like D’Artagnan. Enjoy with a glass of medium bodied white or red wine such as an unoaked Chardonnay or a pinot noir. —csmcbride
- 1 to 1/4 pounds poussin
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 bunch arugula, rinsed in several washes of cold water and dried
- 2 slices day-old rustic bread, crusts removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine or Champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Add the bread cubes to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper and toss to combine. Pour cubes onto a foil lined baking sheet and set aside. Tear the arugula into pieces and to the bowl.
- Remove the neck and wing tips from the poussin. Cut out the backbone with poultry shears or, if unavailable, a sharp chef's knife. Rinse the bird and dry thoroughly on both sides. Gently flatten the poussin with the palm of your hand. Save the bird trimmings for use in stock.
- Loosen the skin on each breast with your index finger and then lift to add a sprig of thyme under each breast. Rub the skin with the butter and season both sides of the bird with salt and pepper.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the bird skin side down in the pan for two to three minutes or until browned. Remove from the heat and place in the oven.
- Cook for eight minutes. Turn the bird over and continue cooking for another six to seven minutes. Remove from the oven and set to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the bird down the breastplate to split in half.
- While the bird is resting, place the bread cubes in the oven and toast for 10 minutes.
- Pour off the excess juices from the skillet. Return to stovetop over a medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, around 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vinegar to the pan and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the olive oil and cook for around a minute to warm.
- Remove the bread cubes from the oven and add to the bowl with the arugula. Drizzle the vinegar, shallot, chicken dripping mixture over the salad. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the salad and toss to combine.
- Arrange the salad on a plate and add the bird halves over the top. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Home Alone Dinner
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