The Ultimate Italian Roast Chicken Salad

The intention behind this was to try and be healthy after a week of indulging on pasta, pizza, bread and cheese; however there is no way I could class this as a healthy salad. Although it may not be one for the strict dieter, you are getting a great selection of fresh vegetables and the most delicious flavours. Possibly the best (and naughtiest) part of the salad is the chicken juice soaked croutons, I don’t know why I had not thought of it before, it is officially awesome! When I make a traditional roast these juices will go into the gravy, however as I didn’t really fancy gravy with my salad I had to think of another use of then, as these most certainly cannot be wasted.

You will also have plenty of chicken and salad dressing leftover so stay tuned for some great recipes to use up the leftovers, or you may find you could just repeat this salad again and again and again.

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Serves 2 (with lots of leftover chicken)

For the roast chicken

–          1.65kg chicken

–          1 lemon – halved

–          Bunch thyme

–          50g salted butter

–          2 cloves smoked garlic – crushed

–          1 shot glass full of wine

–          1 white onion – cut into quarters

–          Salt and pepper

For the Griddled Vegetables

–          ½ green courgette – sliced into strips

–          ½ yellow courgette – sliced into strips

–          2 red peppers – cut into strips

–          2 tbsp sun dried tomato oil

For the balsamic glaze dressing

–          4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

–          1 tbsp olive oil

–          1 tbsp water

–          1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

–          1 ½ tbsp. sugar

–          Juice ½ lemon

For the salad

–          1 small white baguette

–          Large handful watercress

–          Large handful rocket

–          8 olives – halved

–          8 sundried tomatoes – roughly chopped

–          Grana padano – shaved (quantity depending on taste – we like a lot!)

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Preheat the oven to 180’C

Remove the chicken from the fridge half an hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature

Mix together the garlic and the butter with the salt and pepper and smother the chicken in it

In the middle of the chicken shove half the lemon right to the back of the carcass, followed by the thyme and then the shot glass, finally seal the carcass up with the other half of the lemon

Spread out the onion in an oven proof dish and sit the chicken on top of it.

Cover the chicken in foil and roast for an hour

After the hour, remove the foil and baste the chicken in the juices. Turn the oven up to 200’C and return the chicken to the oven, uncovered, for a further half an hour, basting halfway through

Once the chicken has cooked, remove from the oven, cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes before carving.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a griddle pan to a high temperature and griddle the courgette and pepper. The peppers skin will blister, so once it has done rub off the skin so you are left with the juice flesh.

Once your veg has cooked, transfer them to an oven proof dish, coat in the oil and set aside until the chicken comes out the oven

To make the dressing, simply heat all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Once the chicken has been removed, take it out of its dish and set aside on a chopping board to rest.

Tear up the baguette and place in the roasting tin to soak up the juices

Return the chicken dish with the bread and the griddles vegetables to the oven for 15-20 minutes while you rest and carve the chicken.

Once all the elements are cooked and carved, toss together all the ingredients for the salad, drizzle in the dressing and enjoy!

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Look how amazing the soaked croutons are, so naughty but so nice!

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However… the salad still looks beautiful without so you can always opt for a healthier version without losing out on great punchy flavours!

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21 thoughts on “The Ultimate Italian Roast Chicken Salad

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