I told Billy and Vince that we really needed a brick oven, and within a few months there was a 12- by 8-foot hole in the middle of the main dining room, decorated with plenty of bright yellow caution tape.The chicken, prepared only with thyme, pepper and salt, and served with a bread salad, has been widely replicated. Here is Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen's take:
That brick oven ushered in a litany of dishes—and, one fateful afternoon when I was feeling overworked, under the weather, and debating what to cook in the brick oven that night, I floated an idea with Billy and Vince.
"Why not just roast a chicken? A whole chicken, to order. People could share it. It would be delicious out of that oven and simple. I bet people would go for it." People did go for it. We never stop apologizing for the wait, but we just can't roast enough chickens, fast enough.
Google “zuni cafe roasted chicken” and you’ll see — quickly — that this is something of a religion for people; they are mad for it. ... It might sound a little fussier than your usual roasted chicken but I can tell you this: It is one-hundred-thousand-percent worth it. I was as proud as a newlywed presenting her first crown roast to a holiday table pulling that evenly-bronzed, shiny gorgeous bird out of the oven Friday night. I was waiting for the heavens to open up and angels to begin singing hallelujah as never before has a more beautiful chicken emerged from an enclosed heating compartment, but then remembered, once again, that I was Jewish and instead happily settled for this:If you'd like to roast something in her honor, you can always try your Christmas turkey "Judy bird"-style, a turkey recipe developed by the LA Times using Rodgers' salting technique.
“It’s like butta, Deb. Like butta.”
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