Warm Escarole Salad with Smoked Chicken
Ingredients
  • Scant cup smoked chicken meat, with or without skin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup julienned red or yellow onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small head escarole or curly endive, torn, washed and spun dry (about 4 cups torn greens)
Time Estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 20 min  

Total time: 30 min  

Preparation

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-size strips, removing the skin or leaving it on as you prefer.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet and cook the onions and peppers until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper in a stainless steel or other heatproof bowl, and stir with your fingertips to dissolve the salt.
  4. Add the greens and toss with the seasoned vinegar.
  5. When the onions and peppers are ready, add the chicken to the pan just to heat it through, then pour the contents of the skillet over the greens; use a handful of greens to swab out the last of the oil in the skillet.
  6. Toss quickly, then arrange the greens on plates, topping with the other ingredients.

Yield

Serves 4-6

Note

If your greens are on the tough side, as escarole and larger curly endive can be, you can cook them for a few seconds in the pan rather than simply wilting them with the hot oil. Use an extra-large skillet, wok or stir-fry pan to provide enough room to toss the greens in the hot dressing.

Variations

The warm salad theme lends itself to endless variations. Here are a few:

  • Substitute arugula for some or all of the greens, or use a braising mix (prewashed small greens that look superficially similar to a mesclun-style salad mix but are heavier on the sturdy and bitter varieties).
  • Scrape most of the fat off 1 or 2 legs of chicken or duck confit  and reheat the confit in a steamer or double boiler. Use a little less oil for sautéing the onions and peppers, and add the fatty drippings from the reheated confit to the skillet along with the sliced meat.
  • Cook sliced pancetta, bacon, or your favorite sausage first in the skillet (fully cooked sausages just need to be reheated and browned slightly); then either use the drippings from the meat or discard them and replace them with olive oil.
  • Omit the red pepper and garnish the salad with pomegranate seeds or bits of tart dried fruit like cranberries, cherries or apricots, plumped in a little warm water if they are too dry to enjoy on their own.
Which beer should I drink with this?

Pale ale or amber ale

Also from The Microbrew Lover's Cookbook

• From the Beer Belt

• Pizza and Beyond

• From the Spice Bazaar

• Malt and Hops, Meet Ginger and Soy

• From the Home of the Chile Pepper

• Beer in the Melting Pot

Go back to The Microbrew Lover's Cookbook index page.

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: Wickenden/Flickr