Pan Bagna with chicken. Is chicken with achovy a good combination?

Joined Mar 4, 2010

I´m doing an italian sandwich called "Pan Bagna". The original recipe uses meat but I don´t eat red meat so I would like to chance it for chicken. But there is one other ingredient which I love and I would like to keep it - anchovies. But is this combination "allowed"?? Meaning, besides Caeser salad?


Joined Apr 18, 2011
I've never heard of it and it certainly doesn't sound good but it's all up to you and your taste buds in the end :)
Joined Apr 4, 2011
I would stick with just the anchovies and fill the rest up with eggs, new season artichokes, olives, tomatoes, capers, and whatever other nice looking salad/veg you can find (radishes are nice at the moment where I am). You can use tuna but I actually prefer without.

Edit: Just noticed you're in Brazil so unlikely the artichokes will be new season or that the radishes will be any good.
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Joined Feb 1, 2007

What's "allowed" is anything that tastes good to you. It technically might not be Pan Bagna, but so what.

As to the combo of chicken and anchovies, go for it. As it turns out, I'm about to grill chicken with anchovey butter spread under the skin. No reason I can think of for the combination not to work. And, if it isn't allowed, then the both of us are about to break the rules. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif
Joined Apr 6, 2011
Of course you can..I've cooked at some serious restaurants and all I've learned is (paraphrased for your case) chances are some old Italian lady/man 400 years ago did this because that's what she/he had and she/he made it amazing. I would suggest doing several things to your chicken though. The best part of "pan bagna" is that the meat is so flavorful and those anchovies you mentioned earlier. I suggest you marinate the chicken in a high sodium high garlic and lemon brine. then pastrami rub it or just make it super flavorful. you could probably use blackening seasoning  i guess...) or mix your own semi hot/salty spice blend; saute it; or smoke it....if you consider the anchovies a second ingredient in the dish, make an aioli with anchovies, basil, garlic and olive oil ( when I say "aioli", I don't mean mayonnaise. I mean garlic and lipid mixture like a traditional Provencal aioli.

Just think of the flavor profiles within what you know of "pan bagna" execute it.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I hate to bring back the old "authenticity" card, but a pan bagnat does not contain meat of any kind, only fish and eggs. Originally only anchovies, later in history only tuna, nowadays often both tuna and anchovies. If you want to make it with meat, i.e. chicken, all the more power to you, but why not then call it a chicken sandwhich?

I mean, if I stick a tuna steak in between two pieces of baguette and some aioli, is it ok to call that a hamburger?
Joined Oct 2, 2010
I do think pan bagnat is French, not Italian. I had many of these years ago(30+) when I was staying in places like Hyères, La Londe les Maures and Juan-les-Pins. I don't remember them with chicken. Mostly tomato, hardboiled egg, olives, artichoke, etc. They make them while you wait and start with cutting the bread open and drizzle a good amount of olive oil on both halves. The oil many times dripped from the pan bagnat while eating it. 
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Yeah, Chris, i was about to say that Pan Bagna' or  Pan Bagnat was provencal.  I remember it in Provence when i went there an age ago.  We would actually joke about it, saying that's what happens to the baguette when they take it home under the armpit...

But provencal and italian are very close.
Joined Mar 4, 2010
It´s a pleasure reading all your comments and experiences about a sandwich I din´t know anything about before seeing a recipe in my "Italian" recipe book!! :) Now I can talk about "Pan Bagnat"!! :)

Bronwedoff - here is radishes time, no artichokes!! :) 

Thanks to you all!!

P.S.:  It ended up that the sandwich had no taste at all! Next time I´ll follow some of your suggestions! :)
Joined Sep 5, 2008
It´s a pleasure reading all your comments and experiences about a sandwich I din´t know anything about before seeing a recipe in my "Italian" recipe book!! :) Now I can talk about "Pan Bagnat"!! :)

P.S.:  It ended up that the sandwich had no taste at all!
What a shame! I'm sorry to hear that. But I suppose an "Italian recipes" book author that offers the recipe of the Pan Bagnat probably didn't do much research on the subject. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

It's easy enough to find the "official" recipe for Pan Bagnat. From there you can adapt to your favorite, local, in-season ingredients to make it a really flavorful sandwhich for you!

Here is the official recipe: - it's obviously in French, so I'll help you here:

You'll need a nice bread roll. Slice it open in two. Rub the bread roll halves with a garlic clove. Then generously drizzle the insides of the bread roll halves with your best olive oil and some of your best red wine vinegar. This is the technique that gives its name to the sandwhich "Pan Bagnat", which is Provencal for "Pain Baigné" (in French), or "Soaked Bread" if you want.

Then you can put inside:

- Sliced Tomatoes

- Green Bell Pepper

- Fava Beans

- Black Olives

- Tuna

- Anchovies

- Basilic

- Sliced hard boiled eggs

- Onions

Artichokes and Radishes are optional ingredients, I've personally never seen them inside a Pan Bagnat.

Also keep in mind the success of such a simple recipe resides in the quality of the ingredients. The reason why a Pan Bagnat in Provence is going to taste so much better than a Pan Bagnat somewhere else is that in Provence the sun gives absolutely stunning tasting vegetables, they use the best olive oil, they are really, really proud of their bread, their black olives are amazing, the tomatoes actually taste like tomatoes, the anchovies are whole and not filets packed in a can, the Basilic is freshly cut, they use the local, tiny fava beans (fevettes), the local, tiny green bell peppers, etc.

So find the best veggies you can find, if you can from a Farmer's market, the best fish you can find, buy the best olive oil you find, and there's no reason you shouldn't have an excellent sandwhich.
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