THE BIG EASY CHICKEN SALAD
This chicken salad is described as the "big easy" not because of any New Orleans roots but because the flavors are
big and yet it's incredibly easy to assemble. What makes it delicious is a complex flavor that emerges from the
mingling of ingredients that, taken individually, are rather simple. What is crucial, however, is the quality
of each ingredient. The tomatoes must be ripe, the asparagus at their peak season, the olive oil extra virgin,
and the Parmesan cheese of the highest order.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 to 25 minutes
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1 pound fresh asparagus
2 whole boneless smoked chicken breasts (12 ounces each), or 4 cups bite-size pieces roasted or grilled chicken*
4 very ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored
Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Wedge of imported high-quality Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
*FreshDirect Note: We've included a rotisserie chicken in this recipe.
Allow enough time to chop the meat into bite-sized pieces before beginning the recipe.
||Cut 1 inch off the bottoms of the asparagus and peel the stems. Bring an inch of salted water to a boil in a wide skillet.
Add the asparagus and cook them over medium heat until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water
to stop the cooking process. Put the asparagus on a cloth towel to dry and cool to room temperature.|
||Remove the skin and fat from the chicken. Cutting on the diagonal, thinly slice the meat (the slices will come out unevenly
shaped, but it doesn't matter). Slice the tomatoes into thin rounds.|
||To assemble the salad, set some of the asparagus on one side of each plate, and arrange a bed of sliced tomatoes next to the
asparagus. Drizzle some oil over the asparagus and the tomatoes, and season them to taste with salt and pepper.|
||Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin slices of Parmesan over the tomatoes. Top them with slices of the chicken. Shave more
Parmesan over the chicken, and drizzle more oil on top. Sprinkle with a generous grinding of pepper.|
Excerpted from MONDAY-TO-FRIDAY CHICKEN copyright © 1998 Michele Urvater.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.