Grilled Garlic and Herb Chicken and Green Panzanella
“Panzanella is great for using up stale bread. Traditionally, the stale bread is soaked in water, wrung out – literally – then tossed with vegetables, oil and vinegar. Here, the bread is charred like thick bruschetta and chopped before it’s combined with vegetables and grilled chicken. This stunning meal is perfect for summer entertaining.” –RR
For the herb and garlic chicken:
- 1/2 cup mixed herbs, such as sage, parsley, thyme and rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed (1/3 palmful)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup good-quality olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally, and boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 lemon, halved
For the panzanella:
- 5 1-inch-thick slices peasant-style white Italian bread
- 4 cloves garlic, 2 halved, 2 pasted
- Olive oil, for drizzling bread, plus about 1/2 cup for dressing
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons acacia honey or 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup fennel fronds
- 1 bulb fennel, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3-4 ribs celery with lots of leafy tops, thinly sliced
- 1 large mild onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 cubanelle peppers, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 pounds ripe green, brown or yellow heirloom tomatoes
- 1 cup buttery green olives, such as Cerignola, pitted
- 2 cups wild arugula or baby kale
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high or prepare coals.
Combine the herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel, salt, pepper and about 1/3 cup olive oil; coat the chicken.
Char the bread on the grill on both sides; rub with halved garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and chop into bite-size pieces.
Grill the chicken for 12 minutes to cook through, turning once. Grill the halved lemon for 4 minutes, to char. Douse the chicken with charred lemon juice; slice or chop into bite-size pieces.
Grill two more halved lemons for 4 minutes for the salad. Juice the lemons into a large bowl and add the pasted garlic, vinegar, honey or sugar, fennel fronds, salt, pepper and whisk in about 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the fennel, celery, onion, peppers, tomatoes, olives, baby bitter greens and bread, and toss to combine.
Add half the chicken and toss, arrange the rest of the chicken on top of the salad and serve.