Join Southern Living Vegetable Book author Rebecca Lang in her new kitchen as she prepares her favorite Roasted Chicken Salad (and, as a bonus, Southern Field Peas!). This savory dish is easily pulled together for a ladies' luncheon or garden party, and is a delicious twist on a Southern classic. Roasting your own chicken makes this chicken salad divine, and combining the ingredients while the chicken is still warm allows the flavors to marry. If you're lucky enough to find yellow or orange cherry tomatoes, try them for a burst of color.

 

Rebecca Lang's Roasted Chicken Salad
Makes: 8 servings
Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 2 hr., 55 min.

1 (4-lb.) whole chicken
1 lemon, quartered
2 garlic cloves
3⁄4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2⁄3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. diced red onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Garnish: fresh basil
Poppy seed crackers

1. Preheat oven to 450°. If applicable, remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use. Place lemon and garlic in cavity. Loosen and lift skin from chicken breasts with fingers (do not totally detach skin); rub pepper and 1⁄2 tsp. salt underneath skin. Carefully replace skin. Rub skin with olive oil. Place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan.

2. Bake chicken at 450° for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 180°. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Remove skin from chicken. Cut meat from bone. Shred into small strips, using 2 forks.

4. Combine chicken, tomato halves, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp. salt. Cover and chill 1 hour. Garnish, if desired. Serve with poppy seed crackers.

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