Warm Roast Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables

by Kirke on July 25, 2014

Warm Roast Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables and Your Favorite Bottled Dressing, Jazzed with Olive Oil and Vinegar (serves four)

 

Warm Roast Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables
Warm Roast Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables
Warm Roast Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables

 

It’s round four of Five Fast Chicken Dinners for a Family of Four. I won’t hold it against you if you are confused by the last sentence, or if you are really tired of chicken. Feel free to substitute a recipe with pork or a piece of fish. Roast chicken with crunchy vegetables is a dish on which I have sustained myself for many years working in a kitchen. Chefs rarely have time to fix a fancy meal for themselves or to sit down and eat anything. A professional kitchen line is partly made up of what we call mise en place, which means “putting in place” in French, but is actually all the stuff line cooks have prepared to able to throw together meals when they are ordered. Often, dinner for me meant starting with some lettuces tossed in a bowl, followed by whatever chopped, diced, minced vegetables I could pilfer from some poor line cook’s mise en place. I would usually put a couple of tablespoons of Caesar Salad dressing (seemed to always be on the menu) and then finish the salad with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and a trickle of vinegar, often a sherry vinegar. A creamy dressing suits this purpose best. You can use any bottled dressing, or skip it entirely. The purpose of the blend is to make seasoned vinaigrette via a short cut, while making it healthier than if you used all blue cheese dressing, for example. I have written out a recipe with all the components listed, but feel free to change out any ingredient, it will turn out great. This is the sort of attitude you should bring along when you are fixing this recipe, a spirit of improvisation.

This recipe is predicated with the assumption that you have done the work found in Prep Sunday, a previous post of recipes on this website, including a video, and featuring the brined and roasted chicken called for in this recipe.

Ingredients:

3-4 oz. per person roasted chicken from the Prep Sunday, light and dark meat sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 medium kohlrabi, peeled, washed, and cut into 1/8 inch triangles
1 small fennel bulb, washed, trimmed, sliced super thinly
1 rib celery, washed and diced
1 medium carrot, washed, peeled and diced
10-15 each blue lake beans, cleaned, steamed and chilled, cut on bias
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, or conventional, washed and cut into wedges
3 cups hearts of romaine, washed, dried, and chopped in 2 inch pieces (or a mix of sturdy greens like spinach, Napa cabbage, and/or arugula
2 ears fresh corn, shucked, washed and cut off the cob
1/2 large red onion, thick julienne cut across grain
2 Tbs. favorite bottled dressing (like ranch etc.)
2 Tbs. pure olive oil
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp. rice vinegar, or other mild vinegar
3/4 tsp. sea salt
4-5 grinds black pepper

 

The selection of vegetables is completely substitutable. Of course, you want to select vegetables that are good to eat in a raw state. For this recipe I chose to lightly cook the corn and red onion, mostly to provide a base in which to warm and season the cold chicken. Plus, I think an entrée salad like this tastes better slightly warmed.

  • Prepare all the vegetables and the chicken, placing everything in a large bowl, except the corn, onion and chicken.
  • Heat a medium size sauté pan over a medium flame.
  • Add the pure olive oil.
  • Add the onions and corn.
  • Cook for 1 minute, adding 1/8 tsp. of sea salt and 2 grinds of black pepper.
  • Add the chicken and cook for 2 more minutes, or until warm.
  • Add the corn, onion, chicken mixture to the vegetables in the large bowl.
  • Add 2 Tbs. of the bottled dressing you chose.
  • Add the extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of sea salt and 3 grinds of black pepper.
  • Toss really thoroughly, and taste for seasoning.
  • Serve on large plates, trying to put most of the chicken on top.
  • Garnish with radicchio as pictured, or use large, green romaine leaves stuck under the salad.
  • Serve immediately.

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