Place this recipe in your file under "Quick, Weeknight Suppers". The prep to get this dinner to the table is twenty minutes (not including cooking time), but it looks like it took much longer. It also tastes good enough to make for your in-laws or for company. This is a great way to use up bread that is getting stale. The drier the bread is, the more of the liquid in the salad it will soak up, and the tastier it will be.
It is a simple, rustic, one plate meal. A beautiful presentation is to place the roasted chicken on a bed of panzanella. Really, nothing else is needed is make this meal complete.
Roast Chicken Thighs with Panzanella
8 - 10 chicken chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 whole wheat country loaf, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups), or any bread lying around the house
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Optional: Add olives and cubes of mozzarella cheese to the panzanella and serve as a light lunch or smear a paste of garlic and herbs under the chicken skin before roasting. I would also love this with crumbles of feta cheese in the panzanella!
Note: Pat the chicken dry before roasting to give it crispier skin.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet; toast until lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside.
Rub the chicken all over with a drizzle of olive oil; season well with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin side up on a baking sheet; place in the oven and roast until the skin is crisp and golden and an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted into the thigh, 55 - 60 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, parsley, garlic, 3 T. of olive oil and the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss. Serve the chicken on top of the bread salad.