I have to be completely honest…I, Celine, do not like tomatoes or cucumbers, and I only like feta in very small amounts. Yet here I am, writing a blog post about a recipe that involves all three! I surprised myself by loving this meal. A panzanella is a bread salad, which is a very fantastic thing. You can’t go wrong with the bread here- sourdough with garlic butter grilled until crispy perfection. This is anyone’s kind of salad, even for people who don’t like salad. It’s more of a happy conglomeration of wonderful flavors in a bowl, served without turning on the oven and spending some quality time with the grill. Also, I don’t like to grill; it’s something that I like to leave up to my parents if possible. You’re probably wondering why the heck we made this recipe at all since we dislike grilling and I dislike (in principle) some of the main ingredients! My answer: I don’t know. It must be summer brain, which is the tendency to do everything on a whim. Hopefully you will decide to make this too, because it is one fantastic salad! I know we will be making it again soon. And for the record, no , I did not pick out the tomatoes, although Andrew (one of my brothers who is taller than me, yet 2 years younger, and the only blonde in the family) did. Sorry Andrew, but you missed out.
Grilled Chicken Panzanella with Cucumber and Feta
Recipe from Annie’s Eats
For the chicken marinade:
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup canola oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 large chicken breasts (overall, we used about 1 pound of chicken, cut into about 8 pieces)
For the salad:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (we used 3 large cloves)
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 1-inch thick slices sourdough bread (we used Trader Joe’s sourdough, and had to use about 10 slices to get 6 inches of bread since the slices are thin)
1 large cucumber, sliced and quartered into wedges
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Preheat your grill over medium/high heat (grease the grates if necessary). To make the marinade, combine the lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic in a bowl. Place chicken breasts in a gallon Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Shake to combine, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the chicken marinates, prepare the bread. Combine the butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Spread a thin layer of butter over each slice on both sides. The more slices you need to use, the more garlic butter you’ll need. We needed to make a bit extra since we were using thinner slices and therefore more of them.
After the grill has heated up, place the chicken on the grill. Flip over once during cooking. Make sure your chicken register 160 degrees and is no longer pink inside. Remove the chicken from the heat and let rest while you grill the bread.
Place the slices of bread on the grill and cook until each side is toasted (but not charred), 2-3 minutes. Cut the chicken and bread into 1-inch pieces and toss with the cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta in a large bowl. This is best served immediately. Enjoy!