Shaved Fennel and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and Crispy Chicken Skin

May 25, 2016
Photo by jillhaap
Author Notes

This recipe is loosely inspired by the French classic, frisée aux lardons. I used juicy chicken as my protein in place of the traditional poached egg. Instead of frisée, I mixed some peppery arugula with sliced fennel, and added a punch of mustard to the shallot vinaigrette.

Rather than buy a slab of pork belly for the lardons, I utilized the skin of the chicken, which otherwise would have been tossed, to create the same salty, fatty, crispiness of bacon. Plus, it brings a more harmonious taste to the dish. —Jill Haapaniemi

  • Serves 2-4
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb, washed, trimmed, and sliced thinly using a mandolin, plus fennel fronds
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove skin from chicken breasts. Using a sharp knife, scrape any excess fat off of skin and discard. Spread chicken skin flat on a sheet of parchment paper. Top with another sheet of parchment paper. Transfer to a baking sheet. Top with another baking sheet or oven-safe dish to ensure skin stays flat. Bake until skin is crispy and golden, 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, add garlic, bay leaf, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, peppercorns, and 6 cups water; bring to boil. Add boneless, skinless breasts to liquid. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes, depending on size of breasts. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Discard remaining liquid.
  3. Using two forks, shred chicken into large pieces.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, lemon juice, shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to combine.
  5. In a large bowl, toss chicken, fennel, fennel fronds, arugula, and dressing to combine. Divide among plates and top evenly with large cracked pieces of crispy chicken skin.
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