Do you ever read a recipe and just know it’s going to be delicious? That’s how I felt scanning the ingredients and method for this Warm Chicken and Potato Salad With Bacon Vinaigrette from Tyler Kord in Food52’s “Dynamite Chicken: 60 Never-Boring Recipes for Your Favorite Bird” (Ten Speed Press, 2019).
I’m a Food52 fan, so I was pretty sure that the cookbook from the popular food and lifestyle website would deliver more than a few recipes that would please my palate. (I’ve also got sticky notes on the Spicy Chocolate Milk-Simmered Chicken and the Parmesan Chicken Pot Pie.)
Finding creative ways to prepare chicken could be a full-time job. People love chicken recipes because the mild, lean meat cooks quickly, isn’t too pricey and because it works well with so many ingredients. Still, coming up with flavor twists is the key to preventing boredom at the table.
I dig a seared chicken thigh with a simple sauce as much as the next person, but I also can get tired of even recipes I love.
What makes this dish a standout? The homemade vinaigrette that coats the chicken and potato is made with tart balsamic vinegar and creamy tahini. When whisked together with garlic, they emulsify beautifully into an earthy sauce.
Rather than spoon the vinaigrette on top, as the recipe directed, we tossed it with the cooked potatoes and browned chicken pieces. Then, we spooned the warm mixture it over the chilled lettuce leaves. Some of us ate the salad with a fork; others used the leaves to wrap up the salad and ate it like a taco.
We loved the varying textures and temperatures as well: Crunchy bacon; crisp scallions, cool lettuce; those soft, creamy potatoes and that viscous flavorful sauce.
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It was good - and gone in minutes. The recipe calls for chicken breast, but I plan to make it with thigh meat next time. I’ve a feeling I’m going to love it even more.
WARM CHICKEN AND POTATO SALAD WITH BACON VINAIGRETTE
Total: 45 minutes
What makes this dish a stand-out? The homemade vinaigrette made with tart balsamic vinegar, creamy tahini and a kick of spice from garlic.
1 pound red potatoes (about 4 medium or 12 new potatoes), cut into 1-inch chunks
4 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon grated garlic (about 1 clove)
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 head bibb, Boston or romaine lettuce
Put the potatoes in a small pot and add enough water to cover. Generously salt the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender but aren’t falling apart, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool and dry while you prep the rest of the salad.
While the potatoes are boiling, cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until rendered, crispy and slightly brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl. Reserve about 1/3 of the bacon, about 1/4 cup, in a separate bowl for garnish.
Add the chicken to the pan with the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken browns and is no longer pink inside, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the potatoes to the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, tahini and garlic and whisk well. Stir in the bacon, except for the reserved 1/4 cup, and the scallions. Add the bacon-scallion vinaigrette to the pot with potatoes and chicken and toss until well coated.
Place several lettuce leaves on four plates, top the leaves with the potatoes and chicken. Crumble the reserved bacon on top of each portion. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition | Calories: 410; Total Fat: 19 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Sodium: 290 mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 33 g.
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Source: Adapted from Food 52’s “Dynamite Chicken: 6- Never-Boring Recipes for Your Favorite Bird” by Tyler Kord (Ten Speed Press, 2019)