Roast Chicken with Broiled Vegetable and Bread Salad

Roast Chicken with Broiled Vegetable and Bread Salad

 

1 whole chicken (3/4 to 31/2 pounds)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

6 thyme springs

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

4 slices (2 inches thick) rustic Italian bread

1 garlic clove, halved

2 small eggplants or 4 Japanese eggplants (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges

2 red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise and seeded

3 large Swiss chard leaves, tough stems, and ribs removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (3 cups)

 

  1.  Sprinkle chicken with 1 tablespoon salt and season with pepper.  Gently slip your fingers under the skin.  Stuff thyme under the skin of breast and thighs and in the cavity.  Let chicken stand at least 1 hour before roasting.
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Place a baking pan or ovenproof skillet just large enough to fit the chicken in the oven for 5 minutes.  Pat chicken dry then place breast side up, in the hot baking pan.  Roast, rotating pan and basting with drippings once, until skin is golden and chicken registers 160 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh, 40 to 45 minutes.  Let rest at least 15 minutes, then carve.  Skim fat from juices in baking pan.  Pour remaining juices (about 2 tablespoons) into a measuring cup; add oil to come to 1/4 cup.  Whisk in lemon juice and vinegar.  Add capers and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper.
  3. Heat broiler with rack 8 inches from the heat source.  Drizzle bread slices with oil.  Toast until browned on both sides.  While warm, rub with cut sides of garlic.  Tear into bite-size pieces;  place in a large bowl.  Drizzle eggplant and peppers with oil, season with salt, and pepper and toss to coat.  Spread onto 2 rimmed baking sheets; broil until browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes, flipping vegetables halfway through.  Cut into bite-size pieces; add to bowl.  Add chard, toss all together pour on three-quarters of the dressing and toss again.  Transfer to a platter and top with chicken.  Serve remaining dressing on the side.
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