Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal


Panzanella ~ Tomato and Seared Chicken with Garlic-Parmesan Dressing

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Panzanella is the Tuscan name for a rustic dish made of stale bread and raw tomatoes dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Basil leaves can be folded in along with a purple onion, cucumber, and celery. The bread pieces become like ‘little sponges’ filled with the juices of the tomato and fragrant with the olive oil.

Ingredients ~

  • ¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or breasts
  • 1 small baguette
  • ½ pound cocktail tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Persian Cucumbers
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning (whole dried basil, sage, oregano, savory, rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
  • 1 ounce Kalamata Olives

Methods ~

If you’re grilling, preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. If you’re using the oven, place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F.

The Bread and Fresh Produce ~ Large dice the baguette for the croutons. Peel and finely chop 1 of the 2 cloves of garlic. Then, using the flat side of a knife, smash the garlic until it resembles a paste. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise; then thinly slice crosswise. Quarter the tomatoes, then place them in a bowl. Add 1 of the 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, then stir to coat.

Croutons ~ Place the diced baguette on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Toast in the oven 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.

Chicken, Stove Method ~ Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and enough of the Italian seasoning to coat (you may have extra). In a medium nonstick pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.

Chicken, Grill Method ~ Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt, pepper, and enough of the Italian seasoning to coat (you may have extra). Drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Grill the seasoned chicken 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.

The Dressing ~ In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheese, remaining 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The Panzanella ~ To the bowl of dressing, add the croutons, seasoned tomatoes (including any liquid from the bowl), sliced cucumbers, and chopped olives. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve with the Panzanella on the side.

 

 

 

 


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