This meal is great for busy weeknights because it takes less than 45 minutes in the oven! Simply marinade the chicken in the morning and let it develop flavor in the fridge over the course of the day so it is ready to go when you are.
For the chicken
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted (see Notes)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
3 tablespoons vegetable juice cocktail, such as V8
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces (see Notes)
For the bread salad
3 cups diced gluten free baguette, I used Against The Grain, Gluten Free Rosemary Baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small fennel bulb, stalks removed, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Marinate the chicken
Plce the garlic, onion powder, fennel seeds, oregano, salt, paprika, vegetable juice, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until it forms a rough paste. Place the chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag. Add the paste to the bag and rub the marinade all over the chicken pieces. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
To bake the chicken
Place one rack in the middle often oven and another in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the chicken from the bag and arrange the pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven on the middle rack and roast for 30 minutes.
Prepare the bread salad
In a large bowl, toss the diced bread cubes with the olive oil and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. When the chicken has roasted for 30 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and scatter the bread cubes around the chicken pieces. return to the oven, this time on the top rack, and cook 15-20 minutes longer, or until the bread is toasted and the chicken is golden brown and reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.
In the same large bowl used for the bread cubes, combine the tomatoes, fennel, basil, lemon juice, the toasted bread cubes, the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, and all of the juices from the chicken tray. Add a bit of extra-virigin olive oil, if needed, depending on the amount of juice from the chicken, and toss well. Serve the bread salad alongside the roasted chicken.
To toast the fennel seeds, place the seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Toast them, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
Ask your butcher to cut the chicken into leg, thigh, and breast/wing portions, or substitute an equal weight of chicken parts.
Recipe(s) reprinted from Giada’s Italy © 2018 by Giada De Laurentiis. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.