Recipe: Warm Chicken Salad

"You will never crave another mayo-based chicken salad after this one," chef Jody Williams of New York City's Buvette ensures us of her French-inspired roast chicken salad-a beautiful bridge between winter and summer, as it starts to slowly creep around the corner.

Williams found inspiration from that lovely picnic staple of cold chicken salad with mayo and decided to reinvent it at her West Village bistro, where gorgeous simplicity is her hallmark: Considering that Buvette also has an outpost in Paris, it's only fitting that she rubs her chicken with herbes de Provence and fennel seeds before roasting, for a needed upgrade from boiled chicken.

At Buvette, Williams serves chunks of the Provençal-style chicken, ingeniously tossed in its own pan drippings, atop a bed of greens, radishes, new potatoes and haricots verts dressed in a mustard-heavy vinaigrette (not a speck of mayo here, thank you very much).

"What is underneath the salad is just as important as what is on top," Williams explains. "We spend a lot of time taking care to choose beautiful greens-Bibb, endive, frisée. The blend is important for crispness and freshness."

The greens and vegetables in this salad play a role greater than a simple bed for the slices of roast chicken: Sharp and spicy, they mix with the velvety vinaigrette to cut through the richness of the chicken.

If French isn't your thing, Williams has given the dish an Italian spin, too. Also the co-chef/owner of Via Carota with her partner, Rita Sodi, Williams serves a warm chicken panzanella made with vinegar-soaked bread, olives, basil, spring onions and romaine hearts.

Either way, Williams insists that you will probably be making this well into the summer months. We tend to agree.

Find Buvette here, or in our DINE App.
Find Via Carota here, or in our DINE App.

Recipe adapted from Jody Williams, Buvette, New York, NY

Warm Chicken Salad
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Replace the mayo with pan drippings and mustard vinaigrette for the ultimate roast chicken salad.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • :::For the Chicken:One 3-to-4-pound chicken:::
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the Dressing
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced thyme
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • :::For the Salad:12 ounces baby new potatoes:::
  • 6 ounces haricots verts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 endives, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves roughly torn
  • 1 head frisée, stem removed and leaves roughly torn
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  1. Make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°. Tie the legs of the chicken together at the ankles with butcher's twine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and rub with the olive oil, ground fennel and herbes de Provence. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and an internal temperature of 165° is reached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Roughly chop the breast, thigh and leg meat, keeping the skin on, and transfer to a bowl. Discard the carcass and pour the pan drippings over the chicken.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the salt and pepper until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  3. Prepare the salad: In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and transfer to a bowl, slicing in half lengthwise once cool enough to handle. To the pot of boiling water, add the green beans and cook until tender, 3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath to transfer the green beans to after they are cooked. Once cool, drain the green beans and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the endive, Bibb lettuce, frisée and radishes with ¼ cup of the dressing. Lay out on a platter; toss the potatoes and green beans with another ¼ cup of the dressing and scatter on top of the lettuce. Top the salad with chopped chicken and serve.
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