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posted: 6/10/2014 6:00 AM

Warm Lemon Chicken over Panzanella Salad with Basil Aioli

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4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 6 ounces each

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice

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¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

5 cups country style Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup diced red onion

1 English cucumber, diced

2 medium plum tomatoes, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup drained large black olives, cut in half

2 cans (14 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

5 ounces sharp provolone cheese, diced

¼ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

½ cup roughly torn fresh basil leaves

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

4-5 slices fresh lemon for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim the chicken breasts of any visible fat. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil, stir in ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper, pour over chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, spread the cubed bread out on two cookie sheets, toast in the oven 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Place the mayonnaise, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender, pulse to combine well. Remove to a small bowl and keep cold until use.

In a large bowl, place the red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, cannellini beans and cheese. Toss to combine.

In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high, add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, turn down the heat to medium low and whisk in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice Dijon mustard, lemon zest and ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Turn off heat and set aside.

Heat a grill to medium high. Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with the remainding 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Place chicken on hot grates and cook for about 7 minutes, turn and cook an additional 8 to 9 minutes until chicken registers 165 degrees in the thickest part. Remove to cutting board, cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Add the toasted bread cubes to the large bowl with the vegetables and beans, stir to combine. Reheat the dressing over high for 1 to 2 minutes, pour over the bread mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the torn basil leaves and toss lightly. Mound onto serving platter or into large serving bowl, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Slice the chicken breast crosswise into ½-inch slices, arrange over the panzanella salad and spoon the basil aioli over the top of the chicken, garnish the platter with lemon slices and serve immediately.

Serves four.

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