Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Weekend Recipe: Summer Crunchy Salad:

Chef Ben O'Donoghue shares a last of summer feast - and shows us how to do it also!
By Ben O'Donoghue
Date: March 28 2014
Tags: recipe,
Editor Rating:
Granted. It's no longer summer. But we all love the idea of it lingering on, don't we? 
For what is the last weekend before we probably have to reluctantly wave summer goodbye, here is my Summer Crunchy Salad recipe. It's a Roasted Buttermilk Brined Organic Chicken with Panatela.
It might sound complicated on paper, so I've included a video so you can watch it also. Trust me, it's easy - and it's delicious.
Serves 6 
  • 12 good size chicken thighs, skin kept on 
  • 500 mls buttermilk 
  • ½ onion
  • ½ tablespoon cracked black pepper 
  • salt
Aioli to serve 
  • 3-4 tablespoons homemade BBQ sauce 
For the salad 
  • 6 ripe truss tomatoes or large heirloom tomatoes, blanched and skin removed and strain the seed pulp and juice and reserved 
  • 1 loaf of ciabatta, crust removed and pulled into chunks 
  • ½ bunch of basil, green picked and washed 
  • ½ bunch of purple basil, picked and washed 
  • 150mls extra virgin olive oil 
  • 50ml red wine vinegar 
  • 2 cloves of garlic  
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
Firstly make the brine and the chicken. It's best to do this the night before. 
1.  Combine the buttermilk with the onion, salt, cracked black pepper and pour over the chicken thighs, in a dish big enough to hold all the ingredients.  Cover and place in the fridge over night. 
Next day (or a few hours later).
2.  Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees 
3.  Drizzle the trimmed crustless ciabatta chunks of bread in about 50 mls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Season with salt and pepper, toast until crunchy and golden brown then set aside. 
4.  To make the dressing, pound ¼ of each basil in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and the garlic cloves until a fine paste is achieved.
5.  Add the strained tomato juice, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil this is the dressing reserve.
6.  Make your aioli 
7.  Remove the chicken thighs from the brine and discard the brine.  
8.  Pat the chicken dry and arrange on a roasting rack over a tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and crispy. 
9.  Remove from the oven and brush liberally with the BBQ sauce and return to the oven for about 5 minutes to caramelize and bubble. 
10.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest. 
11.  Whilst you do this prepare the salad. 
12.  In a large bowl, tear the tomatoes into chunks, combine with the bread and dress liberally with the dressing 
13.  Add the basil as you serve (the bread should absorb the dressing and in part be crunchy, soft and juicy)  
To serve: arrange the panzanella and chicken on a large serving platter, then dollop with aioli. Enjoy with a nice cold glass of white wine!

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