Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Salad?

You know those times when you have an average, even lackluster, salad and it leaves you craving more? And you know when you have a knock-your-socks-off salad and it blows you away and makes you believe in a bed of greens again? This recipe falls into the category of the latter. It is a bit more work intensive, as it requires you to roast a chicken (worth it, I swear), but the effort pays off exponentially. The mix of warm potatoes, crisp endive and radishes, salty chicken, and herb-y, vinegar-y, shallot-y dressing is spot-on. So without further ado, I humbly give you, the Warm Chicken Salad from Jody Williams (of Buvette fame). The original recipe can be found here.

 

Warm Chicken Salad

Recipe adapted from Jody Williams, Buvette, New York, NY

Yield: 6 servings

 

For the Chicken:

One 3-to-4-pound chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

For the Dressing:

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon warm water

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ tablespoon whole-grain mustard

½ teaspoon minced thyme

1 shallot, minced

garlic clove, grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

For the Salad:

12 ounces baby new potatoes

6 ounces haricots verts, trimmed and halved

2 endives, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves roughly torn

1 head frisée, stem removed and leaves roughly torn

6 radishes, thinly sliced

  1. Make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°. Tie the legs of the chicken together at the ankles with butcher’s twine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and rub with the olive oil, ground fennel and herbes de Provence. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and an internal temperature of 165° is reached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Roughly chop the breast, thigh and leg meat, keeping the skin on, and transfer to a bowl. Discard the carcass and pour the pan drippings over the chicken.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the salt and pepper until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  3. Prepare the salad: In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and transfer to a bowl, slicing in half lengthwise once cool enough to handle. To the pot of boiling water, add the green beans and cook until tender, 3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath to transfer the green beans to after they are cooked. Once cool, drain the green beans and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the endive, Bibb lettuce, frisée and radishes with ¼ cup of the dressing. Lay out on a platter; toss the potatoes and green beans with another ¼ cup of the dressing and scatter on top of the lettuce. Top the salad with chopped chicken and serve.

 

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