Summer and panzanella go hand-in-hand. It's a great way to use up juicy, sweet tomatoes and garden herbs. It's pretty interchangeable, too, which adds to the appeal. I've used mint here, but basil is the standard. Have some thyme on hand? Toss a few leaves into the mix. As for the bread, pretty much any crusty loaf will do. If it's a bit stale, all the better.
If you really want to make the dish rustic, go ahead and tear the chicken from the bones and toss the meat into the panzanella mix.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour, 15 minutes
- 4 split, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
- 3 cups cubed rustic bread
- 1 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar. Transfer to the oven to cook for 30 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and mint in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk 4 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 3/4 of the vinaigrette on the tomato salad and stir to combine. Reserve the remainder of the vinaigrette.
When chicken nears the end of its cooking time, add cubed bread to pan and toss with meat juices to coat. Return to the oven and continue cooking, stirring every 5 minutes until bread is nicely toasted and an instant-read thermometer registers 155°F when inserted into the deepest part of the chicken breast.
Remove chicken from oven. Toss bread with pan juices one more time and add bread to the tomato mixture, stirring to combine. Allow the salad and chicken to rest for five minutes. Then, serve chicken, drizzled with pan juices and reserve vinaigrette, alongside panzanella.