Chicken Panzanella Salad – Homemade sourdough bread cubes toasted to perfection topped on a bed of lettuces and vegetables with grilled chicken. Homemade vinaigrette, this makes the perfect lunch.
Today’s post is all about the salad. And this time we get to add some delicious toasted bread cubes to our salad. I look panzanella and found a variety of ways to describe it. Pioneer Woman described it as “tomato bread salad.” Someone else said it’s a “traditional summer bread salad from Tuscany”.
When I spotted several versions in cookbooks over the past year, I just knew it would have to come here to the blog eventually. Afterall, we do talk about bread here. So let’s get to the bread salad, shall we?
One thing is for sure, it’s another great way to use up a stale loaf of bread. This happens frequently in our house. As I occasionally forget to pull out and serve it or forget to freeze it. So now, we can eat and actually enjoy it.
True story, I made these delicious bread cubes for the salad and my 14-year-old enjoyed them so much that he asked if I could just make them as snacks. He just wanted to grab a baggie of them and pop them into his lunch. Now, I’m not saying I’m definitely going to do that because he probably doesn’t need to eat that much bread as an afternoon snack.
However, it was really good to hear that he enjoyed them as much as some of the other crappy snacks he seems to go for. And they certainly are pretty all toasted like that. So grab a stale loaf and get to cutting. I use sourdough bread and I think that’s part of the reason they were so dang good. That extra tang!
Now we whip up some homemade dressing. Grill up some chicken breasts and arrange ourselves this pretty little salad.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t eat salads at home near as much as I should because I don’t always have all the ‘fun ingredients’ on hand. Lettuce + carrots = boring
However, if you give me some red onions, Parmesan cheese, chopped veggies, homemade croutons and so on I definitely can chow down on that.
So I guess the key for me is to keep stock of the fresh fun foods that I love on my salads! Sounds simple enough. Goals for February + March = Keep fresh unboring ingredients on hand for amazing lunches.
I can do this!
Til we meet and eat again,
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To make this recipe well:
Chicken Panzanella Salad
For Bread Cubes
- 1/2 loaf of sourdough bread cut into 2-inch cubes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- salt to taste
- 1 large cucumber sliced into chunks
- 1 pint grapes tomatoes halved
- 4 ounces sweet butter or red leaf lettuce
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat broiler. Place an oven-safe rack approximately 4 inches from heat. In a large bowl toss bread cubes with olive oil, oregano and salt. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer.
- Toast under broiler for 3-5 minutes, turning once half way through. Set aside and let them cool. Store in a plastic bag if you made ahead of time.
- In a small bowl combine red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, brown sugar and salt. Whisk continuously. While whisking pour oil in a steady stream. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, cooking about 5 minutes on each side or until throughly cooked. Place on a cutting board. Wait 3-5 minutes. Cut into slices.
- Arrange lettuces, cucumber, grape tomatoes and red onion on salad plates. Top with bread cubes and chicken. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing.
- Eat and enjoy
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