Here's how to make Vancouver chef David Robertson's Roasted Chicken Breast with West Coast Panzanella Salad

The cofounder of the Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen shares a favourite recipe from his latest cookbook

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      Award-winning chef David Robertson and his wife, Sara, cofounded the Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen in 2009. At home, cooking is a family affair with their two daughters. 

      When asked for a recipe to share with Georgia Straight readers who are cooking more at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he selected Roasted Chicken Breast with West Coast Panzanella Salad.

      "This peasant-style dish has a great flavour profile and a lot of textures," Robertson says in Gather: A Dirty Apron Cookbook. "The roasted chicken, crisp bread and sharp vinaigrette together make a delicious combo. To get that crispy skin, cook the chicken skin-side down, and resist any temptation to turn it over."

      Roasted Chicken Breast with West Coast Panzanella Salad

      Serves 4 (small plates)

      Ingredients for roasted chicken breast

      2 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
      kosher salt and ground black pepper
      1 Tbsp vegetable oil

      Method for roasted chicken breast

      Preheat oven to 400ºF.

      Season chicken with salt and pepper. 

      Heat oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear for 20 to 30 seconds. Place pan in oven and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF on a meat thermometer.

      Ingredients for West Coast Panzanella salad

      1 1/4 c torn rustic sourdough
      1/3 c + 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
      2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (divided)
      kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
      2 Tbsp capers, chopped
      4 tsp red wine vinegar
      2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
      grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra to taste
      2 tomatoes, cut into small pieces
      1/3 c peeled and diced seedless cucumber
      1/4 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and cut into thin strips
      1/4 bulb fennel, thinly shaved
      12 niçoise olives
      8 basil leaves, torn
      1/4 c fennel fronds (optional)
      1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

      Method for West Coast Panzanella salad

      Preheat oven to 400ºF.

      In a small bowl, combine torn sourdough, 3 tablespoons oil, half the garlic, salt and pepper, and toss to mix. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, until lightly crispy. Set aside.

      In a separate bowl, combine capers, vinegar, remaining half of the garlic, remaining 1/3 cup oil, parsley and lemon zest and juice and mix well.

      In another bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, fennel, olives, basil, fennel fronds, if using, and cheese. Pour in vinaigrette and toasted sourdough and lightly toss together. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

      Divide salad among 4 plates. Slice chicken into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place them next to the salad.

      Excerpted from Gather: A Dirty Apron Cookbook by David Robertson. Photographs by Kevin Clark. Copyright 2019 by The Dirty Apron Cooking School. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.