Steal like an artist. All art is theft. There is nothing new under the Sun. It's true, it's pretty difficult to claim that anything is truly original these days. I certainly would never claim it. So how do people infuse life and spark into their work? Not quite sure, except that you have to care about what it is you're making, and you have to want to make it honest.
Anyway, enough philosophizing, I go on about this nonsense because this lovely roast chicken recipe has been blatantly lifted from the table of Bocca Di Luppo in Soho, London. An incredible Italian restaurant that takes old standbys and turns them into masterpieces. This chicken with beet panzanella was a revelation, combining all my favorite flavors of Autumn.
It's important to roast the chicken and beets at high temperatures at first, and then turn down the oven and cover it all with foil so things don't burn. In the last fifteen minutes, toss in the bread, and slide back into the oven, and roast until the croutons are golden.
I love this because the beets infuse everything with a gorgeous pink color. This meal is so simple, but so satisfying, and great use for almost stale bread loaves. Don't care if it's stealing, I'm keeping this recipe.
Roast Chicken with Beet and Onion Panzanella
- 4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks, rinsed and dried
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 4 beets, peeled and quartered
- 2 springs rosemary, stripped and chopped
- 1/2 loaf of country bread, torn into croutons
Toss the onions and beets with salt, olive oil and rosemary. Salt the chicken pieces generously on both sides. Place skin up in the roasting pan with beets and onions. Roast at 170C for 25 minutes, giving things a good shake every 8 minutes or so.
In the last 10 minutes, remove the roasting pan, add the croutons and give a good toss, making sure croutons are coated evenly with oil. Return to the oven and continue to roast until the chicken is done and the croutons are crispy.