For the Herb and Garlic Chicken;
1/2 cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as sage, parsley, thyme and rosemary
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1/3 palmful
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and boneless, skinless chicken thighs
For the Panzanella:
5 1-inch thick slices peasant-style white Italian bread
4 cloves garlic, 2 halved, 2 pasted
Olive oil, for drizzling bread plus about 1/2 cup for dressing
2 lemons, halved
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Acacia honey or 2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup fennel fronds
1 bulb fennel, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
3 to 4 ribs celery with lots of leafy tops, thinly sliced
1 large mild onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cubanelle peppers, halved and thinly sliced
2 pounds ripe green, brown or yellow heirloom tomatoes
1 cup buttery green olives, such as Cerignola, pitted
2 cups wild arugula or baby kale
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high or prepare coals.
Combine herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel, salt, pepper and about 1/3 cup olive oil; coat chicken.
Char bread on the grill on both sides; rub with cut garlic clove and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Grill chicken 12 minutes to cook through, turning once. Grill halved lemon 4 minutes to char. Douse chicken with charred lemon juice; slice or chop into bite-sized pieces.
Grill 2 more halved lemons for 4 minutes for the salad. Juice the lemons into a large bowl and add the pasted garlic, vinegar, honey or sugar, fennel fronds, salt, pepper and whisk in about 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the fennel, celery, onion, peppers, tomatoes, olives, baby bitter greens and bread, and toss to combine. Add half the chicken and toss, arrange the rest of the chicken on top of the salad and serve.
Panzanella is great for using up stale bread. Traditionally, the stale bread is soaked in water, wrung out—literally—then tossed with vegetables, oil and vinegar. Here, the bread is charred like thick bruschetta and chopped before it’s combined with vegetables and grilled chicken.