Chicken with Pesto and Panzanella

Chicken with Pesto and Panzanella


Serves 4.

  • One 3 to 4-lb chicken, cut into 6 pieces

  • 3/4 cup Genovese pesto

  • One 1-lb loaf country-style white bread, cut into 1 and 1/2-inch slices

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 2 cups packed baby arugula

  • 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives

  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 small cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Using your fingers, loosen skin from meat on chicken and spread 1/2 cup of the pesto in between the skin and meat.

  2. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet and season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Set aside.

Prepare the Panzanella:

  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, arrange an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler element and heat broiler to high.)

  2. Brush bread slices with olive oil and toss tomatoes and bell pepper with 2 tbsp of olive oil.

  3. Season all with salt and pepper.

  4. Place bread and vegetables on grill and cook, turning as needed, until bread is toasted and tomatoes begin to burst, about 5 minutes.

  5. Remove bread and tomatoes, and continue cooking bell pepper until it is charred all over, about 7-8 minutes more.

  6. Let pepper cool, and then peel and remove seeds.

  7. Thinly slice and transfer to a large bowl along with tomatoes, arugula, olives, parsley, onion, and cucumber.

  8. Cut bread slices into 1 and 1/2-inch cubes and add to salad.


  1. Heat grill to 425°F.

  2. Place chicken skin side down on grill and cook, covered and turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 165°F, about 25-30 minutes.

  3. Rub with remaining pesto and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°F, about 5 minutes more. (Alternatively, heat an oven to 475°F, and cook chicken, skin side up, for 25 minutes. Rub with remaining pesto and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.)

  4. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

  5. Rest for 20 minutes.

  6. To serve, whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, roasted garlic, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl.

  7. Pour over bread salad, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper.

  8. Transfer panzanella to a large serving platter, and place chicken over top.

  9. Pour any juices that accumulated on the plate over salad.

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