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Roast chicken panzanella

By Jen G on 14th Aug, 2014

Roast chicken panzanella


  1. Pre heat your fan oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Remove the crust from your bread and tear the dough into good sized chunks. About the size of a squash ball is perfect.
  3. Put those chunks in a single layer on a baking tray or roasting pan and place in the oven until lightly toasted, but not too golden. About 5-7 minutes.
  4. While that’s happening grab a big mixing bowl and add in the olive oil, salt, vinegars, a good grinding of pepper and the garlic all crushed up. Muddle that together.
  5. Now cut the tomatoes into chunks, if they are cherry ones just halve them. Now add those into the mixing bowl and jumble with the dressing. Pull the bread from the oven and leave that to cool and the tomatoes to marinade in the dressing. This is important. You need all that sexy tasting tomato juice to seep out of the toms and mingle with the oil and vinegar, and the salt will make this happen.
  6. Whilst the tomatoes are getting happy, set to work chopping everything else. Slice the radishes as fine as you can, ditto the spring onions. Shred the sage leaves and cut the cucumber in a shape you like, or halve the cucamelons if using. Don't add it to the tomatoes as you go. Just keep it to one side.
  7. Add the bread to the tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Mix every so often as you do the next steps. You want the bread to suck up the juice from the dressing and sweet tomatoes. Like little hungry sponges.
  8. Tear all the cooked chicken up into bite sized pieces and stir that into the tomatoes and bread.
  9. If using fresh peas shell them into a bowl and boil the kettle. Pour just enough boiling water over them to cover and leave them to cool. The hot water is enough to cook them slightly and shock away the slightly bleh taste you can get from fresh peas that have started to go starchy. If using defrosted peas, just toss them in with the tomatoes.
  10. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Lay it cut side down on a cutting board and using your thumb and forefinger, squeeze the ripe flesh out of the skin. Chop that roughly and add to the tomatoes and mix.
  11. Grab the basil and tear the leaves from the stems and tear them into further confetti pieces as you drop them into the tomato and bread bowl.
  12. Add all the stuff you sliced into the bowl and using salad servers or your nice clean hands toss everything together without crushing the ingredients. Fairy fingers.
  13. Serve. Boom.

Recipe Notes

  • This tastes even better the day after it is made.
  • Makes a lovely addition to any picnic or barbecue.
  • You could top each serving with a small amount of torn burrata or mozzarella, or even a poached egg.
  • Olives would also be a welcome addition to the bowl.
tomatoes  / salad  / picnic  / chicken
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