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zuni food
October 25, 2007 3:24 PM   Subscribe

James Beard Chef of the Year (2004) Judy Rodgers espouses the benefits of salting early. She is the chef-owner of the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, and the author of the incredible Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Her Roast Chicken with Bread Salad is a revelation, and really not that hard to do at home.
posted by AceRock (23 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love salting early. I love roast chicken. I love Zuni Cafe. I love the Zuni Cafe cookbook. I love Zuni Cafe roast chicken with bread salad.

However, I do not love posts that are, essentially, a single recipe.
posted by dersins at 3:39 PM on October 25, 2007


Excellent roast chicken is not a single recipe: it is a fundamental of life.
posted by No Robots at 3:42 PM on October 25, 2007


dersins, that single recipe trumps all 101 of Bittman's that you posted previously. so there.
posted by AceRock at 3:46 PM on October 25, 2007


I love Zuni Cafe roast chicken with bread salad.

Then you know that people make pilgrimages to San Francisco just to try the Zuni roast chicken. I didnt know the recipe was on the web. Great, thanks!
posted by vacapinta at 3:46 PM on October 25, 2007


My late partner's last restaurant meal was the roast chicken with bread salad at Zuni Cafe. Fond, fond memories.
posted by ericb at 3:52 PM on October 25, 2007


Excellent roast chicken is not a single recipe: it is a fundamental of life.

Also, when in Boston one should have Gordon Hamersley's Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley and Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Onions.
posted by ericb at 3:56 PM on October 25, 2007


I just read the Roast Chicken recipe and I am now ravenous.

Erm, thanks!
posted by jokeefe at 4:10 PM on October 25, 2007


I made bread salad for a fourth date, and now the boy wants to marry me. He even forgave me for serving it with latkes. Bread salad and chicken, FTW!
posted by Marquise at 4:22 PM on October 25, 2007


I didnt know the recipe was on the web

Really?
posted by dersins at 4:34 PM on October 25, 2007


Can't wait to try this. Thanks. (though I am a little dubious about early salting of steaks that you want to sear. I would be afraid that the drawn out moisture would create too much steam and may interfere with the Maillard reaction.
posted by vronsky at 4:36 PM on October 25, 2007


I am a little dubious about early salting of steaks that you want to sear

Pat them dry with a paper towel before placing on the grill / in the pan.

Pat them dry again before flipping.
posted by dersins at 4:43 PM on October 25, 2007


I didnt know the recipe was on the web

Really?
posted by dersins at 4:34 PM on October 25


Yes. Really.

I also didn't know that a model of Scrooge McDuck's money bin was on the web. In both cases, I could have googled it myself but would have never thought to do so. Thus the value of Mefi.
posted by vacapinta at 4:52 PM on October 25, 2007


That is truly one of the most inspiring recipes I have ever read. Who takes the time to explain in such detail why each simple step is so important? I will attempt to make this one.
posted by rouftop at 5:24 PM on October 25, 2007


Thomas Keller (French Laundry) also has a very simple recipe but tasty recipe for roasted chicken. link
posted by junesix at 5:38 PM on October 25, 2007


I finally made it to Zuni last winter and ordered the chicken. It was okay and the bread salad was hard and dry. I just don't understand the raves about this place. Maybe I got them on a bad night. If I'm paying $40 for chicken for two it should be great. At those prices I'm hesitant to give it a second shot.
posted by whatever at 5:47 PM on October 25, 2007


I have never been to Zuni, but recently a friend invited me over for dinner: roast chicken and bread salad. I can honestly say it was the best roast chicken I had ever had. He told me that the recipe was from the Zuni Cafe cookbook. I can only imagine how good it must be at the restaurant. Next time I am in SF, I plan on checking it out.
posted by chupacabra at 6:06 PM on October 25, 2007


Very hot dutch oven, preheated empty in the oven, salt and oil the chicken (under the skin if you've got time), drop in the hot pot, cook 45-60 minutes, rest 5 minutes out of the oven. 45 minutes and a smaller bird is tastier with a better balance of doneness in the dark and light meats.

Anything more complicated would be retarded!
posted by rxrfrx at 6:20 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I received the book for my birthday a few months ago; To say it's the best cook book ever written would not be hyperbole. It's strength is not in it's recipes, (which are excellent) but in it's notes on philosophy and technique.

The restaurant itself does get mixed reviews however. I haven't eaten there but certainly will next time I'm in SF.
posted by Keith Talent at 7:45 PM on October 25, 2007


Beware... this recipe makes a bloody huge grease-splattered mess of your oven. Be prepared for an immediate self-cleaning cycle after.
posted by Addlepated at 7:46 PM on October 25, 2007


Aw, ericb!
posted by digaman at 7:59 PM on October 25, 2007


I agree with rxrfrx -- a dutch oven saves you from splatter, and the way cast iron holds heat will help even out "hot spots" in your oven (not as much of a problem now as it was with the prior generation of electric ovens, but I have an old, and spotty, oven). As for the bread salad....meh. I've never eaten there, maybe it's amazing. Dunno. The recipe didn't get me hot and bothered. The recipe I'm familiar with substitutes dried apricots and a tapenade for currants; I like more savory with my sweet, I guess.

Roasted chicken, properly prepared, is one of the most glorious meals one can eat. That's kitchen rule two. Kitchen rule one is that onions sauteed in butter will bring every member of the household into the kitchen upon olfactory contact.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:19 PM on October 25, 2007


I came across this blog post here a few weeks ago and have had much success by marinading the steak as you wish, then rinsing, pat dry, completely covering the steak with salt a half hour before grilling, then rinsing, pat dry and grilling.

I must say that it's probably the best steak I've ever made.

I just checked the site again an noticed that she attributes the variation to the Zuni cookbook. I'll be picking it up soon.
posted by daHIFI at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2007




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