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

By Jill Haapaniemi
May 25, 2016
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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
  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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