Panzanella with Chicken
Have you ever had one of those days when you know you need to get dinner on the table, but you just aren’t in the mood to fuss with anything in the kitchen? You could indeed order in. Or try this recipe! I’ve given the general formula for the veggies, but use what you have in your fridge. If you don’t want chicken, skip it. Or use pork (original recipe had that). And the best part is that if you line your baking pan with foil, you won’t have cooking dishes to do.
Original recipe found on Cook's illustrated.com
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or balsamic if you don’t have it on hand)
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 pounds chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 (12-inch) ciabatta, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 red onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
1 yellow pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
1 green pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
2 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Japanese eggplants, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, plus 1 tablespoon brine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 seedless English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Whisk 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard in bowl.
2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Whisk 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard in bowl. Brush chicken all over with the mustard mixture; set aside to marinate.
3. Toss baguette, onion, bell pepper, squash, ¼ cup oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in large bowl until baguette and vegetables are well coated with oil. Distribute vegetable mixture on sheet. Roast 20 minutes, stirring vegetable mixture halfway through roasting. Top the vegetables with the chicken, and return the pan to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, again stirring veggies halfway through. The veggies should be soft and the bread nice and crunchy at this point.
4. Meanwhile, whisk capers and brine, garlic, ⅛ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons molasses, remaining 1 tablespoon mustard, and remaining ¼ cup oil together in now-empty bowl. Add cucumber, tomatoes, 6 tablespoons basil to bowl with caper dressing and toss to combine. Let vegetables sit in vinaigrette until the chicken is cooked.
5. Once the veggies are soft (roasted) to your liking, and the chicken is cooked through, remove the pan from the oven. Set chicken aside to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add roasted veggies to the cucumber mixture and toss to combine.
5. Transfer salad to serving platter. Slice chicken ½ inch thick and arrange over salad. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Serve.