Parmesan Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Mozzarella & Spinach Panzanella

Parmesan Chicken Thighs

with Tomato, Mozzarella & Spinach Panzanella

35 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

To accompany chicken thighs—seared with a coating of savory herbs and parmesan cheese—we’re making our take on panzanella (or Italian bread salad) with toasted focaccia cubes tossed with bites of fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, spinach, and basil pesto.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    990 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Parmesan Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Mozzarella & Spinach Panzanella
Title
  • 1½ lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Piece Focaccia Bread
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • ½ lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 oz Pitted Niçoise Olives
  • 2 Tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the bread horizontally. Peel 1 clove of garlic. Halve the tomatoes. Small dice the mozzarella. Roughly chop the olives. In a large bowl, combine the halved tomatoes, diced mozzarella, chopped olives, and vinegar. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. In a separate bowl, combine the pesto, mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Cook the chicken:
2 Cook the chicken:

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the Italian seasoning and parmesan. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the seasoned parmesan. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.** Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. 

* An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

Toast & dice the bread:
3 Toast & dice the bread:

Meanwhile, place the halved bread on a sheet pan, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Carefully rub the cut sides of the bread with the whole garlic clove, then discard the clove. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, small dice the toasted bread.

Wilt the spinach:
4 Wilt the spinach:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly wilted. Turn off the heat. 

Make the panzanella & serve your dish:
5 Make the panzanella & serve your dish:

To the bowl of marinated tomato-mozzarella mixture, add the diced bread, wilted spinach, and dressing. Toss to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked chicken with the panzanella. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the bread horizontally. Peel 1 clove of garlic. Halve the tomatoes. Small dice the mozzarella. Roughly chop the olives. In a large bowl, combine the halved tomatoes, diced mozzarella, chopped olives, and vinegar. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. In a separate bowl, combine the pesto, mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 Cook the chicken:

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the Italian seasoning and parmesan. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the seasoned parmesan. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.** Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. 

* An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

Cook the chicken:
Toast & dice the bread:
3 Toast & dice the bread:

Meanwhile, place the halved bread on a sheet pan, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Carefully rub the cut sides of the bread with the whole garlic clove, then discard the clove. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, small dice the toasted bread.

4 Wilt the spinach:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil). Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly wilted. Turn off the heat. 

Wilt the spinach:
Make the panzanella & serve your dish:
5 Make the panzanella & serve your dish:

To the bowl of marinated tomato-mozzarella mixture, add the diced bread, wilted spinach, and dressing. Toss to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked chicken with the panzanella. Enjoy!

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