Warm Vanessa Salad
Vanessa was a wonderful restaurant in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. It was the place where I first experienced warm chicken salad and the excitement of walnut oil. This salad, my version of the Vanessa specialty, combines chicken with walnuts, mushrooms, and fresh tarragon. Served over slightly wilted greens, it's a flavorful dish that makes a great simple meal, and one that can he prepared in minutes.
2/3 cup walnut oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
9 cups mixed salad greens, such as Boston, red leaf, romaine, watercress, and/or baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup minced roasted or pimento
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried and crumbled
1.In a skillet large enough to accommodate the chicken in one layer; heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown quickly on both sides, about 4 min-utes. Do not allow the chicken to cook through.
2. Distribute the greens evenly on a large platter. Remove the chicken from the skillet and reserve. To the skillet add the shallots, mushrooms, walnut halves, and roasted pepper. Season to taste with the salt and pepper and saute, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, saute 1 minute more, and add the vinegar and tarragon. Toss the ingredients together and remove from the heat.
3. Spoon the chicken mixture over the greens in a circular pattern and serve.
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Excerpted from Empire Kosher Chicken Cookbook by Katja Goldman and Arthur Boehm Copyright© 1999 by Katja Goldman and Arthur Boehm. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.