Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Roasted-Tomato Panzanella

The secret to this addictive bread salad? The cubes of focaccia are cooked in a mixture of chicken fat and oil. Yep, it’s as tasty as it sounds.
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pan-seared chicken thighs with roasted-tomato panzanella

Recipe by Alexa Weibel

Active TimeTotal TimeServings

30 minutes

40 minutes



  • 4 oz. herbed goat cheese

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tsp. lemon zest plus 2 tsp. juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 16 oz. cherry tomatoes

  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds

  • 5 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 6 oz. focaccia, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

  • 3 cups mâche or baby greens

  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a food processor, pulse the goat cheese, cream, and lemon zest and juice until fluffy; season with salt and pepper.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, thyme sprigs, fennel seeds, and 1 tbsp. oil; season. Spread the tomato mixture in an even layer. Roast until the tomatoes start to shrivel, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding the thyme sprigs and stirring the thyme leaves into the tomatoes. Preheat the broiler.

3. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over high. Season the chicken. Cook until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. In the same skillet, add the remaining 3 tbsp. oil. Add the focaccia; season. Toss until coated. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Broil, stirring once, until the focaccia is crispy and charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Scrape the focaccia into the bowl with the tomatoes. 

4. Divide the goat cheese mixture among 4 plates. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture in a circular pattern on each plate. Slice the chicken. Toss the chicken, greens, and red onion with the tomato mixture; season the panzanella. Divide among the plates.