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Sheet Pan Chicken Panzanella

Sheet Pan Panzanella with Chicken and Kale - juicy and crispy chicken atop garlicky croutons, juicy tomatoes, tender kale and gooey mozzarella - this is the Salad of the Season! So easy!

Panzanella is a Tuscan Bread Salad. This version includes crispy-skinned roasted chicken, tender (!) kale, and grape tomatoes. No need to dress this tasty salad – the ingredients do all that work in the oven!

If you like, you can drizzle some reduced balsamic vinegar for an extra kick of flavor!

Equipment needed: A half-sheet pan

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven Roast
  • Cuisine: International

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 loaf Rustic Bread, cut into 1” cubes, about 56 cups
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 23 cloves’ worth)
  • 1 tsp Dry Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Oregano
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) Grated Parmeggiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
  • 12 oz. (340g, 2 1/4 cup) Grape Tomatoes
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt, plus extra for chicken
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, plus extra for chicken
  • 5 Tbsp (74 ml) Extra Virgin Olive oil, divided, plus a bit extra for drizzling over the kale
  • 8 Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skin-on (around 3 lb, or 1.4kg)
  • 1 Bunch Red or Lacinato Kale, stemmed and  chopped into 2” pieces 
  • 4 oz. (113g) Cilegiene (small fresh mozzarella balls) (about 16) (See Note 1)
  • Handful (1/2 cup or more) Fresh Basil Leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F(Conventional) or 400F (Convection/Fan).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the bread cubes, chopped garlic, thyme, oregano, Parmeggiano-Reggiano, tomatoes, Salt, Pepper. Drizzle 4 Tbsp (59ml) Olive oil over the mixture and stir to mix well, aiming to coat the bread as evenly as you can. Pour the bread cubes and tomatoes over the surface of a sheet pan, in a single layer.
  3. Pat the chicken pieces dry. Trim any excess skin from the edges, you really just want to maintain the skin over the tops. Drizzle the remaining Tablespoon (15ml) oil over them and rub into the skin. Salt and pepper each of the thighs, bottom and top. Set the thighs atop the bread and tomato mixture on the sheet pan.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven 25-30 minutes. In a conventional oven, pan should be in the bottom third of the oven, and you’ll want to turn the chicken over and stir the bread and tomatoes at the 15 minute mark. For convection, place pan on the middle rack, and after 15 minutes, just stir the bread mixture, moving and bread pieces out from under the chicken to crisp. 
  5. While chicken roasts, prepare the kale. Once rinsed and dried, remove the stems. Then cut pieces in 2″ sections. Drizzle Kale pieces with a bit of oil, and season with Kosher Salt and pepper.
  6. When chicken reaches 160-165F, around 25-30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven. Switch oven mode to BROIL.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate. Scatter the kale over the bread and tomatoes. Place the chicken atop the kale. Return to the oven, under the broiler, for 2-4 minutes until chicken is as brown as you like (careful not to burn it!). This took just 2 minutes in my oven.
  8. When done, remove the chicken from the pan, and toss the bread salad. Top everything with chopped fresh basil and more grated parmesan. Serve together. 

Notes

  1. You can also use 4 oz (113g) fresh mozzarella, cut into small, bite-sized cubes
  2. Nutrition information includes all the meat and skin in two thighs plus 1/4 of all the other ingredients per serving. Servings are large, you may find you can get another serving or two from this recipe.

Nutrition

Keywords: panzanella, chicken panzanella, sheet pan meal, chicken panzanella salad, sheet pan chicken panzanella, sheet pan panzanella, chicken and kale panzanella

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