1 (3- to 3-1/2-lb) whole chicken, cut up
Freshly-ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Ground Sumac
5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (plus more to coat the baking dish)
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped Italian parsley
12 ounces dense bread (such as farm bread or pane de casa), cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces Kirby or Persian cucumbers (about 3 medium), quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces*
12 oz fresh tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped into approx 3/4″ pieces
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more as needed
*or regular cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into tiny pieces
Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces, then season all the pieces generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together sumac and 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small bowl, then and rub the sumac mixture all over the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a dish and refrigerate, uncovered, for all day (or overnight), about 8 hours.
Heat the oven to 375°F with baking rack in the middle position.
Heat the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot enough to begin shimmering, add the onions. Season onions with a little salt, and cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and beginning to caramelize, about 8-10 min. Add the garlic and parsley to the skillet and stir to combine, cooking for another minute until you can smell the fresh garlic and parsley.
Transfer the sauteed onion/garlic mixture to a large bowl. Add the bread cubes, and toss lightly to season the bread; set aside.
Coat a broad ovenproof baking dish with olive oil. The seasoned bread needs to be arranged in a single layer. Transfer the bread mixture to the oiled dish, spread cubes across the baking dish (save the mixing bowl – no need to wash up). Place the seasoned chicken pieces on top of the layer of seasoned bread cubes and roast in the oven for about 1 hour, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Remove baking dish from oven and transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board; allow to rest for 10 minutes so that meat juices can re-distribute. While the chicken cools slightly, prepare the cucumbers and tomatoes in a medium bowl, seasoning with a little more salt.
Transfer the toasted, seasoned bread back to the reserved bowl, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes (while the chicken does the same on the cutting board).
Add the cucumbers, tomato, and fresh lemon juice to the bread; lightly toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Pile the “bread salad” onto a serving platter, then arrange the chicken pieces around the salad.