Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chicken salad

This is the very basic chicken salad, made with what was left from the weekend's shopping, that we ate last night. The cherry tomatoes were sweet, English ones from the local greengrocer, and were in a different league from any -- no matter how superficially attractive -- I have bought from a supermarket.

I often include roasted peppers in salads such as this. Put them in the oven at the highest heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin chars; allow to cool, peel, deseed and slice.

For two.

8 medium Jersey Royal potatoes
I garlic clove
1 dstsp red wine vinegar
3 dstsp olive oil
Salt, pepper
2 portions roast chicken pieces
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
16 cherry tomatoes, halved

Scrape and halve the potatoes (or cut them into thirds, if they seem large), put them with the garlic clove into a saucepan of cold water, bring slowly to the boil, and cook at a gentle simmer until tender. This gentle cooking helps the potatoes to retain a firm texture, as does the omission of salt. Drain; if you like, cut the potatoes into smaller pieces.

Squeeze the boiled garlic from its hull, and mash it into the vinegar in a salad bowl, with some salt and black pepper. (Raw garlic in a salad is of course more assertive.) Whisk in the oil. Turn the potatoes in this dressing; they tighten in texture as they cool, but they will absorb a good deal of dressing if they are still hot. Stir in the other ingredients.

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