Farmers markets are wonderful things, they are my happy place. Making a fresh chicken salad from what you find just makes sense. San Diego has amazing farmers markets, from the touristy and iconic market in Little Italy to the variety of markets scattered around neighbourhoods of the city. California seems very prone to excellence as it produces much of the produce for the United States. It is a Mediterranean climate, and heavily invested in small organic farms. The market we loved was all organic.
Shopping goes hand in hand
Early on Saturday mornings my daughter, Tori, and I would head to our local town market in Poway, California. These are wonderful memories. We would walk the market hand in hand, she usually with a fresh squeezed juice or tea with boba. Together we would peruse the produce and pet the pugs. Sprawling over two long blocks the range and quality of the product amazing. Many dishes were designed from those stalls. This chicken salad was one of those.
Based on what was fresh we made a weekly salad that is simple and delicious. You can roast your own chicken. Often I just purchase those rotisserie chicken breasts that these days seem to be in every grocer’s fridge. Try to get the one’s bone in, with the least seasoning, and not fried.
I have found this cold salad to be best served alfresco. Few things are so perfect for a picnic or a meal enjoyed outside. Typically, we serve this on rustic bread or on a bed of fresh arugula.
I have found this elegant cold salad to be best served alfresco. Few things are so perfect for a picnic or a meal enjoyed outside. Typically, we serve this on rustic bread or on a bed of fresh arugula.
- 3-4 Roasted Chicken Breasts pulled from the bone in bite-sized long strips
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese cut in small cubes or grated on a large grate
- 1/2 Red Bell pepper diced
- 1/2 English cucumber diced
- 1 Jalapeno or Serrano pepper diced added to taste
- 7-8 Cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 tsp capers, or 4-5 sliced caper berries if you can find them
- 3-4 pickled pepperoncini cut in rings
- 2-3 good glugs olive oil
- Sea salt
As you prepare each ingredient put it in a common large bowl, add the oil and seasoning last. Mix.
Cover. Let it rest for an hour in the icebox, adjust the oil (the salad can get a bit dry as the chicken will absorb the oil) and seasoning and serve.
Usually, we serve from a common bowl just plating the bread or greens.
There is really no way to go wrong as long as you are adding fresh. In the spring you will find fresh raw sweet corn, and English peas, cauliflower, avocado, and sometimes shredded carrots. Try whatever combinations you enjoy. Share then with us, always looking for a new direction.
There is really no way to go wrong as long as you are adding fresh. In the spring you will find fresh raw sweet corn, and English peas, cauliflower, avocado, and sometimes shredded carrots. Sometimes we will just crumble some baked salami on the salad for a zing of flavour. Try whatever combinations you enjoy. Share them with us, always looking for a new direction.
This mildly spicy salad is wonderful with a light Vermentino from Italy or a wonderful dry Riesling from Alsace.