Monday, 8 August 2011

Warm Crispy Chicken Salad with Bacon & Garlic Croutons

This is one of those dinners that is made up of very simple ingredients but which, when put together, becomes much more than the sum of its parts. It's just crispy chicken, bacon, garlic croutons, sesame seeds, raspberry dressing and mixed herb and flower salad. It's soooo good though. Yum, yum, yum.

Season some boneless chicken thighs and brush them with oil. Pop them onto a skillet or heavy based frying pan, skin side first to get crispy before turning them over to do the other side. We've got one of those non-stick grilling machines which makes this pretty fast and easy. Once the chicken is cooked, put it to one side to rest, while you cook some thick-cut bacon peices (sometimes called lardons in the shops). When the chicken has had 5 mins or so to rest, slice it up ready to serve.

To make the croutons, take a couple of thick slices of bread, preferably a day or two old, slice off the crusts and cut it into cubes. Arrange on a shallow tray, drizzle with garlic oil and put under the grill until toasted.

For the salad I used raw courgette slices, cooked chioggia beetroot, cherry tomatoes, nasturtium leaves, sorrel, parsley, marjoram, chives, rocket, spinach, looseleaf lettuce and mixed edible flowers.

The dressing is a mix of extra virgin and light olive oils, raspberry vinegar, salt and pepper, whisked until they combined. If you haven't had raspberry vinegar before, give it a go, it's fabulous stuff.

Finally, toast some sesame seeds to be sprinkled on the top. I served all of the items separately, as they looked really appealing like that, but they combine on the plate perfectly.

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