A delicious twist on this Tuscan classic
I love a traditional panzanella but this chicken panzanella is a nice little twist for a midweek meal.
- SERVES: 4
- PREP/COOK TIME: 20 mins
- DIFFICULTY: easy
This is a classic Tuscan bread salad.
Panzanella is made of ripe tomatoes, dried Italian bread, and a simple tangy dressing.
And word-on-the-street… Panzanella isn’t a tomato salad with croutons.
It’s a bread salad, that can be made with tomatoes… or any other veggies.
However, I’ve stayed classic with this recipe using bread with tomatoes.
The key to this salad is the bread, drying and toasting.
And sourcing the perfectly ripe tomatoes.
Chicken Panzanella: A fusion of flavours
This tasty traditional Tuscan salad beautifully marries the vibrant colours and flavours of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and crusty bread.
But now, add (seasoned) chicken to this classic dish.
And this little twist gives you a super simple midweek dish packed with flavour.
Salt your tomatoes
Some recipes (including Angela Hartnett, whose recipe this is), don’t mention salting tomatoes.
However, unless you know your tomatoes are super tasty, juicy and sweet.
Then this is a good trick to intensify your tomatoes.
And it only takes 15 mins so you can get on with the bread toasting.
So, in a colander, add your chopped tomatoes and place them over a plate or bowl to catch the juice.
Then sprinkle sea salt over, toss and leave for 10-15 mins.
Once done, you should see that the salt has drawn out some of the tomato juices.
And you can use this juice in the vinaigrette.
You can just grill your chicken for this recipe but this dry rub is flavour-packed.
- 1/4 cup paprika, smoked or sweet
- 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 3 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl.
How long should dry rub sit on the chicken?
We recommend letting the dry rub sit on the chicken for at least 15 minutes before cooking
Preparing chicken panzanella
Grill the Chicken: Marinate chicken pieces with your rub.
Grill until cooked through and nicely charred. Let the chicken rest before slicing it into thin strips.
Toast the Bread: Cube some sough dough or any chosen rustic bread and toast until they’re golden brown and crunchy. This step is essential to ensure the bread absorbs the juices without becoming soggy.
Toss chopped tomatoes. Toss them gently with salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
Assemble: In a large mixing bowl, combine the grilled chicken, toasted bread cubes, and tomatoes. Tear fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over the mixture.
Dress: Drizzle some more of the vinaigrette over and toss everything together gently. Allow the flavours to meld for a few minutes before serving.
For the dressing
- 2 tbspq red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of crushed garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 400 g tomatoes, chopped
- 200 g sough dough or a rustic bread
- 2 free-range chicken breasts, grilled (or add a rub – see blog)
- small bunch of basil
- Cut the bread into bite-size pieces and griddle or bake in a hot oven until charred and golden.
- Grill the chicken and when cool enough to touch, cut into bite size chunks.
- Whisk the red wine vinegar with olive oil and crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper.Mix the chopped tomatoes with basil and grilled chicken pieces.Pour over the dressing and gently toss together.Add the chunks of bread and allow it to soak up the juices.Serve.