Chicken with Panzanella filling and salsa

Prep Time: 15 min + cooling time
Servings: 8
Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • 3cloves - garlic, crushed
  • 2 - red sweet peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced
  • 1 - onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 - anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 30ml - olive oil
  • 8 - Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • - grated rind of one lemon
  • 50ml - olive oil
  • 1/2 - sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 - fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 8 - chicken breasts, deboned but with skin left intact
  • 1 - tin whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 - ciabatta loaf, crusts off and diced
  • 125ml - sweet basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 - small onion, chopped
  • 15ml - brown sugar
  • - OTHER:
  • 80g - Parmesan cheese, grated
  • - SALSA:
  • 50ml - red-wine vinegar
  • 30ml - red-wine vinegar
Panzanella, the delicious Italian bread salad, is used here as stuffing for succulent chicken breasts
Prepare Salsa: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and stir-fry the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the sweet peppers and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the anchovies, mix well and taste before seasoning (sparingly, as anchovies are quite salty). Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven. Place the bread in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add the onion, sweet pepper, olives, lemon peel, sweet basil and Parmesan cheese and mix through. Cut diagonal slits in each chicken breast without cutting right through, and stuff the breasts with the filling. Close the cuts with toothpicks, rub with olive oil, and pan-fry the breasts until golden brown all over, starting with the skin side underneath. Place the fennel in a roasting pan, top with the chicken breasts and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

To Serve: Slice the chicken breasts and serve with the fennel and salsa.


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