Roast chicken and bread salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

1 small free-range chicken

1 lemon
1 small bunch of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 small bunch of parsley
1 dry red chilli
5 garlic cloves, halved
Olive oil to drizzle
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

2tbsp dried sour cherries
1 loaf of one-day old, chewy bread
150ml/¼ pint extra-virgin olive oil
1tbsp salted capers, rinsed
1tbsp finely chopped, preserved lemon
2tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
A handful of rocket
10 chopped basil leaves
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat dry and place half the lemon into the cavity with the thyme, bay leaves, parsley, crumbled dried chilli and garlic. Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon over the chicken skin and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then place in a roasting tray. Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to rest until cool enough to handle. Save the juices.

For the salad, soak the cherries in warm water for 10 minutes. Cut the loaf in half, and tear into pieces. Put on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Tip the bread into a large salad bowl. While still warm, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil, add the capers, preserved lemon, vinegar and cherries.

Remove the flesh from the chicken, add to the salad and drizzle over the roasting juices. Add the rocket, season and place on a dish. Scatter over the basil leaves and lemon zest and serve immediately.

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