Rustic Chicken and Sourdough Salad
As soon as I saw this Rustic Chicken and Sourdough Salad on my favourite, favourite website The Kitchn, I knew I had to include it on Lucy Loves. This is just the sort of dish I love cooking. It’s big, it’s chunky and it’s incredibly simple. And as I type this, I have a vile cold and am feeling very sorry for myself, so this Rustic Chicken and Sourdough Salad, instantly makes me feel comforted and snuggy.
The brilliant way the chicken is cooked should not be reserved for this salad alone. The slow, predominantly pan based cooking method, ensure the chicken is moist *aagghh run for the hills* with the most incredibly crisp skin. I, personally, will never cook chicken thighs in any other way again. Especially as I found a brilliant cast iron pan in a local charity shop for £4 and am so chuffed with it. The crisp chicken is served with toasted sourdough bread, lightly dressed with a red wine vinegar dressing and extra pan juices, pine nuts and tart, green leaves. Serve alongside anything you fancy. I went for roasted vine tomatoes and asparagus, but the dish would definitely benefit from a squeeze of lemon, fresh parsley or fine beans, you choose, just add your favourites.
I adore dishes which can be scaled up to serve a crowd, and this one is a classic. So if you’re feeding more than four, just cook extra chicken and maybe a little extra bread, although we had loads to go round with four of us. So if you have a house full this holiday weekend, tuck in with this salad, I hope you fall for it as much as I have.
Here’s the carb heavy line up. Look at the delicious loaf, mine was pretty big, but go for something around 500g to 600g. And of course, I missed the lemon for serving, so imagine you can see it here.
Pre heat the oven to around 170 degrees fan assisted. Then start with the chicken and you can crack on with the bread and salad whilst it’s cooking. Take a heavy bottomed *like me* pan and put on a high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. When it’s nearly smoking, season the chicken thighs then place them skin side down in the super hot pan.
I am so excited about my charity shop pan. Must get a life.
Cook these lovely meaty thighs *me again* for two minutes on high then turn down to medium and cook for a further 12 minutes.
After the 12 minutes is up, pop the pan, with the chicken still skin side down, in the pre heated oven for another 13 minutes.
When this time is up, take the pan out of the oven, turn the chicken over and pop back for a final five minutes in the oven to finish off.
Get a look at that golden, crispy skin. The skin’s the slimming part of the chicken, right?
After this final five minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and remove to a dish, covered with foil, to rest.
During this minor chicken kerfuffle, crack on with the bread part of this recipe. Melt the butter in a bowl and tear up the sour dough loaf into nice big chunks. Add these chunks to the buttery bowl with some salt and pepper and move around to make sure they have some butter on them. Add these buttery morsels to a baking sheet and put in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until starting to brown and crisp.
While the bread is crisping, toast your pine nuts in a small frying pan. Cook them for a couple of minutes until just staring to brown, but keep an eye on them at all times as they can go from browning to buggered in the blink of an eye. And they are quite expensive, so don’t go off and hang out a load of washing whilst they’re toasting. Once they’re done, pop them in a bowl and leave to one side.
Next up, deal with the dressing and the extra chicken juices. Pop the red wine vinegar and olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk.
Take the pan which the chicken was cooked in and, over a low heat, add an additional tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar to the chicken juices, scraping up all the good bits as you go then simmer for a moment or two. Pour this into a jug and save to pour onto the bread.
Now, it’s all systems go and you are ready to assemble this big old dish. Take the warm, crisp bread and pour on the oil and vinegar dressing. Then drizzle with some of the chicken juices, saving any extra to serve on the side.
Tumble in the pine nuts and then add a flurry of mixed salad leaves. Poetry.
Nestle the rested crispy chicken in between the leaves and bread, check seasoning, then serve with a rustic flourish *that means in the pan you cooked it in as you didn’t have a plate big enough*.
This is a great recipe to have in your recipe folder. Do you have a recipe folder? Or is this a fictional item like a weekly menu plan. I do have a recipe folder, it consists of an A4 file on top of the fridge, bulging with scraps of paper, magazine clippings and print outs. I fear if I don’t fashion it into something a bit more organized soon, it may take over the whole house.
Rambling aside, I hope you like this chunky one pan lunch as much as we did. Even George ate it, minus the salad, of course. He is allergic to salad, allegedly.
Rustic Chicken and Sourdough Salad
Served 3 to 4 but easily doubled for a larger lunch or supper party
You will need a big pan or baking tray which can go on the hob and in the oven
6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the Salad
500g to 600g sour dough loaf, a day old would be good, or any big rustic style loaf
60g butter, melted
60ml red wine vinegar, plus a couple of tablespoons more for the chicken juices
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
half a bag of salad leaves, include some rocket, watercress or spinach
Reserved chicken juices
Salt and pepper
Serve with fresh lemons, roasted vine tomatoes, asparagus, long stemmed broccoli or a selection of add ons of your choice
Pre heat the oven to around 170 degrees fan assisted
Season the chicken thighs and add the tablespoon of olive oil to a heavy bottomed pan which can go in the oven. Heat on the hob until v hot then add the thighs skin down. Cook on high for two minutes. Then turn down to medium and continue to cook for a further 12 minutes, still skin side down. When this time’s up, pop the pan of chicken, still skin side down, in the oven for another 13 minutes. Once this is done, take it out and turn the chicken over and cook for a further 5 minutes to finish it off. After this final cooking, take the pan out of the oven, remove the chicken, carefully, to a dish and leave, covered in foil, to rest while you assemble the dish. Keep the pan and the chicken juices.
Whilst the chicken is cooking, get on with the bread element of the dish. Melt the butter in a bowl and tear the sourdough loaf into chunky pieces. Add this to the melted butter and mix around until the bread is lightly coated. Put this onto a large baking sheet, add salt and pepper, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes until crispy. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan, watching them all the time, as they can go from brown to burnt in a moment. Put them to one side once toasted.
Whisk together the red wine vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. While the chicken is resting, add a tablespoon or two more of red wine vinegar to the chicken pan juices, scrape up all the crispy bits, mix in well and simmer for a moment or two. Pour these juices into a jug.
Now, you are ready to assemble. Drizzle the warm bread with the oil and vinegar dressing, then drizzle on some of the chicken juices from the jug. Add a good couple of handfuls of salad leaves and the pine nuts then arrange the chicken on top of the leaves. Serve with lemon wedges, roasted tomatoes or any other bits and bobs you fancy.