Recipe: Chicken panzanella

Rachel Walker 11 June 2018

This delicious bread and chicken filled salad is perfect for summer

If you thought that bread was only for sandwiches—think again. In Tuscany, chunks of torn bread are soaked in tomato juice to make the base of this panzanella salad. It’s not traditional to add chicken, but it bulks out the salad into a summer roast packed with a medley of seasonal flavours.



Serves 4

• 4 chicken legs

• 2tbsp olive oil

• 1kg tomatoes, roughly diced

• 2tbsp red wine vinegar

• Ciabatta (about 250g) 

• 6tbsp olive oil

• 100g black olives, pitted

• 200g (jarred) roasted red peppers

• 1 small red onion

• 70g basil leaves



1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Rub the olive oil into the chicken legs, and season with salt. Put them in a roasting tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh.

3. Meanwhile, tip the tomatoes—and all their juices—the red wine vinegar and olive oil into a mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Roughly tear the ciabatta into large crutons and add them to the mixing bowl. Stir, and allow the crutons to soak up the juices.

4. Prepare the rest of the salad: halve the black olives, cut the roasted peppers lengthways and slice the red onion as thinly as possible. Add everything to the bowl with the chunks of bread. Pick the basil leaves, roughly tear and then stir into the panzanella salad.

5. To serve the salad feasting style, pile the chicken legs onto a platter and heap the panzanella salad into a salad bowl so guests can help themselves. Alternatively, use two forks to strip the chicken from the bone and stir it into the salad right before serving.