This salad is a full meal all-in-one, which is definitely how I prefer to eat my salads. If I’m gonna do it, I want a super-satisfying, hearty salad full of flavor. Give that sad side salad to the next person. This definitely hits all my requirements: slightly bitter frisée, juicy roasted chicken, bacon with an accompanying tangy vinaigrette made with its fat, goat cheese, and crispy chicken skin crumbled over top. If that sounds gross to you, best stop reading now.
Apparently spinach salad with hot bacon vinaigrettes were a thing in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I swear my mom used to make them, but she refuses to confirm this. SOMEONE IN MY LIFE USED TO MAKE THIS AND I NEED TO KNOW WHO.
Along the way, I think these salads went out of style because fat is scary! Especially animal fat!! And bacon fat…just take me to the hospital now! NOT. We have been lied to and deprived of this delicious dressing for too long, but it’s been coming back into style over the last few years.
I stumbled across this recipe from the New York Times and it sounded like something that would appease everyone. Frisée is in my Whole Foods and I’m gobbling it up for as long as possible! I added some goat cheese, chives and golden toasted bread to the salad for more heft, texture and flavor, and crisped up the chicken skins after I finished roasting the breasts to crumble on top. Total game changer. We should be doing this to everything.
And ever since I ate at Zuni Café in San Francisco a few years ago and had Zante currants in their famous roasted chicken dish, I’ve been open to actually including them in other recipes. BUT I JUST FOUND OUT THEY’RE TECHNICALLY RAISINS. I hate raisins. Or I thought I hated raisins. This might be another one of those situations that keeps happening to me where I have spent my whole life convinced I hate some food stuff, and then actually eat it and realize it’s delicious and I’m just a big dum-dum. Sorry for all the caps in this post; I have some strong feelings surrounding this recipe. Anyway, there’s Zante currants in here; keep ’em or omit ’em as you will.
You really don’t need anything else to go with this salad besides a cold glass of rosé and your deck. Okay, and maybe some bug spray if you live anywhere near me.
A hearty salad full of flavor: slightly bitter frisée, juicy roasted chicken, bacon with an accompanying tangy vinaigrette made with its fat, goat cheese, and crispy chicken skin crumbled over top!
- 1/3 cup dried currants OR raisins
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 2 large heads frisée (about 1 pound), cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- About 20 fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Thick slices of hearty country bread, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled or broiled until golden brown
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Place the currants in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to rehydrate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Lay the bacon slices out on a large baking pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the thickness of your bacon), until golden brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the bacon fat by pouring it in a glass measuring cup. Set aside.
- Place the chicken breasts on the same baking sheet and generously season with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160°on a thermometer. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Remove the chicken skin as soon as possible and return to the oven; bake until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Reheat about 1/4 cup bacon fat in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, taking care not to let it brown. Turn the heat off and add the vinegar. Whisk in the Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the frisée in a large mixing bowl; pour the warm dressing over top and toss to coat. Drain the currants and add to the lettuce; crumble the goat cheese into the salad, tossing again to combine. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the chives on top. Crumble the chicken skin on top to garnish. Serve with the grilled bread.
Inspiration: Warm Chicken-and-Frisée Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette on nytimes.com