Recipe Index

American | Zuni Café Chicken

Posted on October 12, 2018

The day we got married we had lunch at Zuni Café in San Francisco. That was over 20 years ago, and I'm pretty sure that we ordered this. Back then it was called "Roasted chicken for two with Tuscan-style bread salad" it was priced at $30. (I saved the menu.) Today they call it "Chicken for two roasted in the brick oven; warm bread salad with scallions, garlic, mustard greens, dried currants, and pine nuts" and is priced at $58. You can make it for much less and modify it to suit your tastes. We love it.

Yield: serves 4

zuni cafe chicken


6 to 8 chicken pieces, bone in, skin on (we like 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs)

2 heads garlic, tops cut off

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lemon, zested with a Mircoplane then cut in half

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 baguette, torn into roughly 1- to 2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

4 large handfuls arugula, baby kale, escarole, or baby lettuce

lemon wedges



Preheat the oven to 425°.

Arrange chicken pieces on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up. Add both garlic heads, cut side up.

In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Whisk. Rub all over the chicken. Put some olive oil, salt, and pepper on the garlic tops.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the chicken for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and arrange the torn bread and zested lemon halves in between the chicken pieces, tossing them in any juice the chicken has released. Drizzle everything with another glug of olive oil and return the pan to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the anchovy paste, vinegar, and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the greens in a large shallow serving dish.

Remove the chicken from the oven and immediately add the anchovy mixture, this will help deglaze the pan.

Use tongs to pluck out the croutons and add them to the greens; toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt. Top with chicken pieces.

Take about 6 of the garlic cloves out and add them to the pan. Squeeze the roasted lemons halves over the pan. Crush the garlic cloves with a wooden spoon, scrape up the crispy bits on the pan, mix everything together to form a sauce.

Pour about half of the sauce over the chicken, bread, and greens. Serve with lemon wedges and remaining pan sauce.


(Ref. "Zuni Sheet Pan Chicken" recipe, It's All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow, page 217.)