This dish has all the flavors of a classic chicken cacciatore in a tender and juicy package. Plus, the side dish is made right alongside the chicken so it's an all-in-one meal. What could be a better family dinner?
Technique tip: Using tomato juice helps result in a moist, tender and flavorful chicken.
Swap option: This same marinade will also work with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
For the chicken
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons tomato vegetable juice, such as V-8
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces
For the bread salad
- 3 cups bread, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small fresh fennel, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
- Additional olive oil to finish, optional
1. To the bowl of a small food processor, add the garlic, onion powder, fennel seed, oregano, salt, paprika, vegetable juice and olive oil. Puree until it forms a rough paste.
2. Place the chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag. Add the paste to the bag and rub the marinade all over the chicken pieces. Seal the bag and let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator from 4 to 8 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place one rack in the middle of the oven and another in the top third rack of the oven. Remove the chicken form the bag and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes.
4. While the chicken cooks, in a large bowl, toss the diced bread cubes with the olive oil and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. When the bread is done cooking, remove the tray form the oven and scatter the bread cubes around the chicken pieces.
5. Place the tray back in the oven, for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread is toasted and the chicken is golden brown and cooked to 160 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes. 6. To the same large bowl add the tomatoes, fennel, basil, lemon juice, the toasted bread cubes, the remaining Parmesan cheese, and all of the juices from the chicken tray. Add a bit of olive oil, if needed, depending on the amount of juice from the chicken. Toss well with a large spoon.
7. Serve the bread salad with the roasted chicken.