Chicken with Salsa Verde

The roast chicken with salsa verde at Jonathan Waxman’s restaurant Barbuto is one of my most favorite chicken dishes in the world. I wanted to recreate it at home and make it ageless – easy with all those fresh herbs! Now I have, and I can enjoy it anytime I crave that citrusy, fresh-tasting from the herbs, and salty-in-a-good-way from the capers and anchovies salsa verde drizzled over a meaty, well-cooked chicken. What I realized in recipe testing this is that it’s all about the salsa verde. The original recipe calls for using a mortar and pestle, I didn’t. Instead, in the interest of ease and speed, I used a blender. A small food processor would work well too. The only concern in using a blender or processor is to take special care to keep the herbs somewhat intact and the sauce chunky but not oily. I also added a teaspoon of lemon zest and a couple of tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. This meant I didn’t need as much oil. I like my version, which is a little more blended than the original, because I can use it on everything, and by everything I do mean EVERYTHING. It’s that good. If you don’t have all the herbs the recipe calls for, use ones you do have (even a simplified version with oregano, parsley, and rosemary would be very delicious). But don’t skip the capers and the anchovies. I often double the recipe to have it on hand for other fish, meat, and chicken dishes. And, in the summer I’ll grill my chicken. In the winter, roasting the bird is the way to go. If I’m grilling, I’ll use quartered chicken legs or chicken thighs. 

Chicken with Salsa Verde
Serves 6
This dish is all about the salsa verde. Get that right and you'll have the most delicious chicken you've ever eaten.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 hr
Total Time
11 hr 15 min
Prep Time
10 hr
Total Time
11 hr 15 min
For the Roast Chicken
  1. 1 3½- to 4-pound free-range, organic chicken, patted dry
  2. 2 thyme sprigs
  3. 1 lemon, halved
  4. Salt and pepper, to taste
  5. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the Grilled Chicken
  1. 6 free-range, organic chicken leg quarters
  2. 2 lemons
  3. 1/4 cup olive oil
  4. 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  5. Kosher salt and pepper
For the Salsa Verde
  1. 1 tablespoon capers
  2. 2 anchovy filets
  3. 2 cloves garlic, halved
  4. 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  5. 1/4 cup arugula, finely chopped
  6. 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  7. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  11. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  12. 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  13. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  14. Zest from 1 lemon
  15. Salt, to taste
  1. If grilling the chicken: In a small bowl, make marinade of olive oil, worcestshire sauce, and juice from 2 lemons. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to bag, pour in the marinade and let marinate for 4-10 hours. Prepare grill for medium heat; generously oil grate with vegetable oil. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; discard marinade. Starting skin side up, grill chicken, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and cooked through, 30–40 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve with bowl of salsa verde and garnish chicken with grilled, halved lemons.
  2. If roasting the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425°. Remove the chicken from the fridge and place on a clean work surface an hour before roasting to remove the chill. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breast and thighs. Carefully slip the thyme underneath the skin. Place halved lemon in the cavity of the bird. Season liberally with salt and pepper, rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using kitchen twine, truss the cavity closed and tie the legs together. Pour the remaining olive oil into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Lay the chicken in the skillet, breast-side down, tucking the wings under. Place in the oven and roast until the chicken begins to turn golden-brown, about 40 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven. Pour out the oil and chicken juices from the pan and discard. Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue roasting for another 30 minutes, until the bird is golden-brown all over. The chicken is done when the juices run clear from the thigh. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  3. Prepare the Salsa Verde: Rinse the capers in cold water; drain and set aside. Soak the anchovies in water for a few minutes; drain, pat them dry. Combine the anchovies, capers and garlic in a mortar and pestle, a blender, or small food processor and pound or pulse until a smooth paste forms. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Blend until combined, add the fresh herbs and arugula, pulse or blend briefly (seconds) until chunky and not too oily. If needed, drizzle more olive oil into the blender, food processor or bowl to create the desired consistency. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. To serve, drizzle the chicken with salsa verde and serve remaining alongside with a salad or grilled vegetables.
Adapted from Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto
Ageless Diet Life