Brined & Grilled Chicken Panzanella Salad

This rustic Italian salad is best made with day-old crusty bread and is a wonderful seasonal salad to make when the tomatoes are flowing in your garden.

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Poultry Brine (see below)
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • 2 tbsps garlic-flavoured oil
Salad
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small English cucumber, diced
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into medium chunks
  • 2 tbsps small capers
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • Sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Poultry Brine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into slices
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Mediterranean Spice Blend
  • 1 tbsp EACH dried basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, fennel seeds and dried lemon peel


Preparation

  1. Prepare brine according to directions.  Place chicken in brine and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Once brined, remove the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.  Brush chicken breasts with garlic oil and season with Mediterranean Seasoning Blend and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side until nicely caramelized.  Turn and continue to cook until internal temperature reads 155 F on meat thermometer.  Allow meat to rest for 7 to 8 minutes before slicing.
  4. Brush bread slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on heated grill pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and crisp.  Cut into chunks and place in large salad bowl.
  5. Add cucumber, tomatoes, capers and basil; toss to combine.  Drizzle with vinegar and oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon onto serving plate and add arrange chicken slices over top.  Serve at room temperature.

Poultry Brine

  1. Heat water in saucepan until warm.  Add salt, sugar, lemon, rosemary, garlic and peppercorns.  Add ice cubes and allow mixture to cool down to room temperature to infuse flavors.
  2. Add the meat and continue with recipe as directed.

Mediterranean Seasoning Blend

1.  Mix altogether and store in an airtight container.


Servings

Makes 4 servings


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