‘Zuni’ Roast Chicken with Chimchurri Sauce

I have been hearing about the famous Zuni Roast Chicken for some time now. It’s been on my radar to try. I hit up our library a few weeks back and ordered in the Zuni Cookbook and once it was in, I decided it was definitely time to see if this chicken was deserving of all the rave reviews.

So the thing about this chicken is you need to plan in advance.  Pick up a nice preferable organic chicken (preferably a smaller bird), and while you are at it grab some fresh herbs (Rosemary, Thyme and Sage work nice). Then all you need is some Sea Salt and Pepper. That’s it! You have all the makings of a delicious bird on your hands.


– 1 organic chicken (smaller size)

– fresh herbs such as Thyme, Sage and/or Rosemary

– Sea Salt

– Pepper

The Chicken needs to dry brine in your fridge for 1-3 days so once you bring your bird home wash it and dry it very well. Using your fingers to make a hole – shove a sprig of fresh herbs under each side of the breasts – 4 total.  Using about 3/4 tsp per pound of salt – salt and pepper the bird liberally all over the top and bottom (using about 3/4 tsp per pound of chicken – you don’t need to salt the inside of the bird). Cover loosely and refrigerate up to 3 days but at least 1.

Once you are ready to roll. Crank your oven to about 475F (Use the convection feature for the first 1/2 hour if you have it). Pre-heat your pan (Use a small oven safe roaster or pan – just big enough to fit your bird). Take your chicken out and pat dry all over. Once your pan is hot – place your chicken in, breast side up and listen for a sizzle. Throw it in the oven – if it starts smoking turn down your heat by 25F – if it doesn’t seem hot enough (It should sizzle) turn it up another 25F. Let the chicken cook for 30 minutes then flip it over and place it back in. Let cook about another 15 minutes, then flip it over and finish it off breast side up. Chicken should be done in about 45 minutes to an hour (mine took an hour).

Now – these directions are simplified a little from the original version.

When you pull them out take out the chicken and let it rest for a bit (drizzling some of the beautiful juices from the pan over. Cut it up and serve. Beautiful – moist and crispy skin. Your patience and planning will pay off. Don’t forget to save the bones for chicken broth 🙂 We served ours with Chimchurri Sauce to drizzle over. Devine!


Now..for the chimchurri if you wish. Now please note this chicken is super delicious on its own, but I happened to have some Chimchurri Sauce on hand, which was super yummy drizzled over top.

Chimchurri is one of my all time favorite condiments. This Argentinian sauce goes very well over any type of meat. I usually have a jar on my counter all summer long – it’s that good.


This is a recipe I found online that I’ve been using for a few years now. I haven’t felt the need to alter it – as it’s so good! It’s quite garlicy – so if you like a little less garlic I would suggest cutting back a couple of cloves – but we love ours nice and pungent!

-1 bunch flat leaf Italian Parsley

– 1 Tbsp Red Onion

– 1 tsp Dried Oregano

– 8 cloves garlic peeled

– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

– 1/2 cup olive oil

– salt and pepper to taste

Using a food processor (or you could do by hand if you chop very finely) – chop the parsley, onion and garlic. Don’t pulverize too much – just make sure they are chopped. Once done add in your vinegar, olive oil and whiz up. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I store this in a mason jar on our counter – lasts well for about a week – if it lasts that long!



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