Recipe: Charcoal-Oven-Roasted Chicken with Winter Panzanella and Bacon Vinaigrette
From the kitchen of Chef Chris Cosentino, Jackrabbit restaurant at the Duniway hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Celebrity Chef Chris Cosentino has been putting his unique and imaginative culinary stamp on menus for well over a decade, most recently at his Cockscomb restaurant in San Francisco, Acacia House at Las Alcobas hotel in Napa Valley, and at Jackrabbit restaurant at the Duniway hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon.
Charcoal-Oven Roasted Chicken with Winter Panzanella and Bacon Vinaigrette
1 chicken, 2.5 lbs. each
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. black peppercorn
1 tsp. Fennel seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
1 lb. slab bacon, diced ½ inch
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
8 cloves of garlic, sliced paper-thin
½ cup sherry vinegar
4 cups baby arugula
4 cups day old bread, crusts removed and cut into ½-inch dice and toasted
1 delicata squash, halved, seeded, cut to ¼-inch slices
1 red onion, sliced into ½-inch rounds
For the chicken: Assemble a brine by combining salt, sugar, and spices with one gallon of water in a pot. Cook until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry. Split the chicken in half by cutting out the breastbone and splitting the bird down the spine. Add to the brine and allow to sit for eight hours. Remove from brine, rinse, and allow to dry.
For the vinaigrette: In a small rondeau, add the bacon and cover with water. Boil bacon in the water until the water disappears, the bacon softens, and it renders out. Over low heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot, leaving the fat and the fond. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the bacon and the vinegar back to the pot. Bring to a boil and set aside.
For the panzanella: In a large bowl, toss the squash slices in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees until tender. Remove from oven and cool. Grill the onion slices on a rack in the charcoal oven until charred and soft. Reserve.
To finish the dish: Season the chicken minimally on all sides. In a cast iron or French steel pan, add 2 tsp. of blend oil. Heat the pan on the stove until just before smoking, and add the chicken, skin side down. Place pan into charcoal oven and cook until thermometer inserted into the thigh reads internal temperature of 165 F. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine the salad greens, squash, onions, and croutons. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add in ½ cup of the bacon vinaigrette. Toss and allow to sit. Transfer tossed salad to the bottom of a serving tray. Top with the chicken and coat with a generous helping of the bacon vinaigrette.