Roast chicken with sweet onion panzanella

This delicious roast chicken recipe is paired with panzanella - a Tuscan bread and tomato salad that features sweet onion in this recipe for a delicious twist

By Jennene Plummer
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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  • 1/2 loaf stale ciabatta bread or sourdough, cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red onions, cut into thick wedges
  • 1.4 kilogram Rangitikei chicken, butterflied
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs lemon thyme, chopped
  • 250 gram cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Preheat oven to very hot, 220°C. Line a large roasting pan.
  • 2
    Place bread in a single layer in pan and brush with half the oil. Place onions around edges.
  • 3
    Place chicken skin-side up on bread. Drizzle with remaining oil and lemon juice. Scatter thyme over and season.
  • 4
    Roast for 30-35 minutes until chicken is golden-brown and juices run clear when thigh joint is pierced with a skewer. Transfer to a board and rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.
  • 5
    Place tray under preheated grill for 4-5 minutes until bread is golden and crisp. Tear into chunks and toss through pan juices with onions, tomatoes and vinegar. Top with chicken and scatter with basil. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and cut into segments to serve.


  • To butterfly the chicken, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove. Turn over and flatten.