Skillet Chicken Panzanella
While holding a package of Boneless Chicken Breast and looking for inspiration on my pantry shelf and in my veggie bin, I came up with the idea for this Chicken Panzanella Skillet. Simply by using what I already had on hand, such as zucchini, and some day-old bread, along with a few other items, I was able to create this super tasty and easy skillet dinner that my family devoured.
Skillet Chicken Challenge
I am a big fan of the television show Chopped, in part due to my passion for minimizing food waste. This particular show demonstrates that it is possible to invent something new and wonderful from what you may already have stocked in your kitchen. I absolutely love the creative challenge. A case in point, could very well be my Skillet Chicken Panzanella.
No Ordinary Panzanella
You may be wondering indeed, what is it that makes this dish different from just any other chicken and veggie skillet combo. Without a doubt, I would have to say, it is the homemade crouton-like topping. The taste is reminiscent of a Panzanella salad which consist of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes.
It is in the final step, when the skillet is placed under the broiler that the magic happens. The tops of the bread cubes get toasted and crispy but the underneath remains soft and filled with the flavor of the bubbling juices.
Here is what you will need:
- 3 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
- A small Onion, sliced thin
- 1 Zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 6 oz. Tomatoes, diced with juices
- Salt & Pepper
- optional – Parmesan rind for simmering in the broth.
- 6-8 mild or hot Cherry Peppers
- 4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
- 1/2 loaf of day-old Italian Bread, cubed
- A handful of Mozzarella Bocconcini (shaped like small balls) or Mozzarella, cubed.
- 2-3 fresh Basil leaves, chopped
*Tip: You can get creative and swap the Chicken for boneless Pork Chops. You can also change up the veggies or use another type of melty cheese other than mozzarella in this dish.
Directions for: Skillet Chicken Panzanella
Start by heating 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet, on medium high heat. Next, add onion and zucchini. Cook and stir occasionally until softened for approximately 10-12 minutes. Next, pour the chicken stock and add the diced tomatoes to skillet.
If you happen to have a Parmesan rind in your fridge, you may add it to the broth at this time for a big flavor boost. Next, season with salt & pepper and continue to cook until just boiling.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer. Add cherry peppers.
Meanwhile, pat dry the chicken breast and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the skillet and continue to simmer on low for approximately 10-15 minutes or until just cooked through. The time may vary according to the thickness of the chicken breast.
In the meantime, prepare oven and set to broil. Toss bread cubes in 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the chicken is done, carefully remove skillet from stove and top the chicken and veggies with the bread cubes, gently pressing down. Sprinkle with mozzarella and fresh basil. Place under broiler until bread is toasted.
Give this Skillet Chicken Panzanella dish a try, I’m sure you will truly enjoy it.
If you’re shopping for a heavy duty skillet, I highly recommend: https://www.lecreuset.com/signature-skillet/LS2024.html
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