Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chicken Panzanella

Panzanella is a delicious Italian tomato and crouton salad, and the addition of roasted chicken breast it makes a light, satisfying spring or summer meal.

Chicken Panzanella
1 large chicken breast, roasted and shredded or cut into bite-size chunks (I buy chicken breasts with the bone in and skin on and roast them at 400 with olive oil & salt & pepper - this keeps them moist and delicious; if you do the whole package at the beginning of the week you'll have pre-cooked chicken to make quick meals with for a few nights)
2 c diced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes, cut in half)
2 c sourdough bread, cut into 1" dice
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp
1/4 c good balsamic vinegar
fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, shallots, parsley, 1/4 c olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chicken. Season well with salt & pepper. Let this mixture stand for at least 15 minutes - half an hour or more would be better - to let the flavors meld and allow the tomatoes to give up some of their juice. Don't worry if it seems like there's too much liquid at the bottom of the bowl; the croutons will fix this.

Toss the bread cubes with the 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. As soon as the croutons come out of the oven, add them to the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. The croutons should soak up the yummy liquid, but retain a bit of "bite".

1 comment:

Deanna S. said...

Looks great! I'm going to have to make this one soon. Love the tip about cooking all the chicken at the beginning of the week too. What a timesaver...
Regards, Deanna