Monday, September 23, 2013

Lemon Pepper Roasted Chicken And Green Salad With Blistered Tomato Vinaigrette and Bacon Croutons

There's nothing more comforting than a roasted chicken bursting with flavor. Pair it with this easy green salad with warm tomato vinaigrette and extra crispy croutons, and you've got a dinner easy enough for a weeknight or fancy enough for company.

easy roasted chicken green salad homemade croutons
 Let me just tell you about this chicken. This chicken y''s really out of this world.
Oh, and it's incredibly easy.
My favorite way to dress a bird, whether it's a chicken or a turkey, is to make a compound butter and give it a good rub down. So for this chicken, I took some butter, and added in lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme, garlic, paprika, and plenty of salt and pepper.

I like to roast chicken in a hot oven, that way the skin gets nice and crispy...because, let's admit, that's the best part. Who's with me on the crispy skin?
The smell emanating from your oven will have your taste buds going on over drive and will have you counting down the minutes until you get to take it out of the oven.
The chicken comes out moist, juicy, and oh so flavorful from the lemon and pepper.
roasted chicken lemon pepper
So you might think that a salad is a salad is a salad.
That's where you'd be wrong.
True, it starts with your basic greens. What happens after that is what truly sets it apart from your run of the mill salad.
Since I am a firm believer that bread must be included in every dinner, I cubed some leftover sourdough and tossed it on a sheet pan with some sliced bacon.
Yes, you read that right, I tossed the bread with bacon.
I then roasted them together in a hot oven, tossing occasionally just to ensure that the hot bacon drippings shared their love with the bread.
Which they did.
Go ahead, try not to nibble straight from the pan.
Once you have your croutons mixed in with your greens, it's time to make the vinaigrette.
I halved some cherry tomatoes and sautéed them with some sliced shallots in olive oil. Once the tomatoes start to blister, whisk in some fresh lemon juice. Pour this warm dressing over your salad and toss to evenly coat the croutons. 
What happens when the warm, tangy dressing is soaked up by the bread cubes is pure magic.
The blue cheese crumbled on top provided a sharpness that brought the flavors from the salad and chicken into perfect harmony.
That's quite a lot of excitement for a big bowl of greens!
green salad recipe roasted tomato recipe homemade croutons
Lemon Pepper Roasted Chicken And Green Salad With Blistered Tomato Vinaigrette And Bacon Croutons

For the chicken:
One 4 lb whole chicken

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