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This sings of summer, of southern European sun, of ripe, sweet tomatoes.

Ingredients:

4 chicken thighs (or use leftover roast chicken)

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

3 red or yellow peppers, or a mixture of the two

½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced

200g stale rustic white sourdough, crusts removed

4 tbsp red-wine vinegar

2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

400g ripe tomatoes (a mix of sizes and colours), washed

1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed with a little salt

30g tinned anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped

5 tbsp good olive oil

1 big handful fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Rub the chicken with oil, season generously, then place skin-side up on a baking tray.

Put the peppers on a separate tray. Put both trays in the oven, turning the peppers regularly.

Check the chicken after 25 minutes – it’s done when the juices run clear when pricked with a sharp knife: once done, remove and leave to cool. Roast the peppers for about 35 minutes, until roasted dark in patches and deflated, then put them in a large bowl and cover with clingfilm, so they sweat.

Put the red onion in a bowl and add cold water to cover.

Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces, put in a bowl, sprinkle over half the vinegar and toss (use your hands).

Tear the chicken from the bones into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl with any resting juices. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the bowl, then add the capers.

Peel and discard the blackened skins from the now cooled peppers, pull off and discard the stems, pith and seeds, tear the flesh into finger-wide strips and add to the bowl.

Whisk the garlic and anchovies with the remaining vinegar and oil, add a good grind of pepper, and pour over the salad. Drain the onions and scatter on top.

Add the basil leaves, ripping them roughly as you go, then toss.

Leave for 15 minutes and up to an hour, and serve as it is (though, oddly, I quite like it with a crisp green salad alongside).

 

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