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Sourdough Panzanella with Grilled Chicken

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Serves 4

  • by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough from Fine Cooking
    Issue 112

In this classic Italian salad, sourdough bread soaks up the flavors of fresh herbs, late-summer tomatoes, and a savory vinaigrette. Adding grilled chicken turns it into a full meal.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil; more for the grill
  • 4 3/4 inch-thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch pieces (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs,such as basil, parsley, cilantro, or mint
Tip:
For balanced texture, be sure to slice the tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken, and bread about the same size.

Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire. Clean and oil the grill grate.

Brush the bread on both sides with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Grill the bread until well marked, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the oregano, smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle evenly over the chicken breasts. Grill, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the  thickest part of each breast registers 165°F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes, and then cut into 3/4-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil and the vinegar. Press the anchovy fillet and garlic clove through a garlic press into the bowl (or mince by hand). Add the bread, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and herbs, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Finish off the meal with a creamy Blackberry Fool for dessert.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 700; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 62; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg): 1110; Cholesterol (mg): 70; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was fantastic. The anchovy was subtle, the flavors were fantastic with garden-fresh tomatoes.

I liked the ingredients but couldn't imagine them all together. This was so good. Even with the bread it was a nice light summer dinner. I'd add a little more anchovy, though, because we didn't taste it at all. My husband and I both really enjoyed this!

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