Fabulous Freelancer Foodie Recipe: Roasted Chicken and Tomato-Zucchini Panzanella Salad

Rich flavors and hearty portions make this a wonderful, one-stop lunch or dinner!

Note: the original version of this recipe appeared in the May, 2020 issue of Relish.


  • 2 whole chickens that are about 2 ½-3lbs each (giblets must be removed)
  • 6 divided tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 divided teaspoons of salt
  • 1 divided teaspoon of pepper
  • ½ cup of red onion that has been thinly sliced.
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread (about 1lb) that’s been cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 4 small tomatoes that have been cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 medium zucchini that has been thinly sliced


  1. In preparation, preheat an oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto each chicken (the olive oil should be fully absorbed by each one).
  2. Combine 1 ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon rosemary, and ½ teaspoon parsley in a small bowl.
  3. Divide the dry mixture so that it’s half for one chicken and half for the other, and coat each chicken thoroughly with the mixture until it’s absorbed.
  4. Arrange the chickens on a large, rimmed baking sheet that’s been lined with tinfoil or parchment paper.
  5. Roast the chickens in the oven for about 75 minutes until they’re golden brown and the juices run cleanly.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and arrange the sourdough bread pieces around the chicken in its juices.
  7. Allow the chicken to continue roasting for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the bread has toasted. Set the completed chicken aside so that it can slightly cool.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
  9. Add in the tomatoes, zucchini, and onion, and toss everything together so that it’s combined well.
  10. Cut the warm bread into smaller bite-size chunks and toss them with the vegetables.
  11. Slice the chickens into large pieces and serve with the now-completed salad mixture.

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