This perfect picnic stunner lives somewhere between a salad and a lush crudités platter: It's fresh, inviting and beautifully composed in colorful rows, so your guests can mix and match to their liking. A twist on the classic niçoise, the salad stars deliciously juicy, chilled roast chicken that can be roasted up to two days ahead.
Salad Niçoise with Cold Roasted Chicken
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen for Crate and Barrel
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
For the Chicken:
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated with a Microplane
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon, salt
1 garlic clove, finely grated with a microplane
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 3-to-4-pound organic, pasture-raised chicken, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Salad:
½ pound green beans, ends trimmed
¾ pound small potatoes
1 cup roasted red pepper, drained of liquid
2 cups (about 12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
4 to 6 radishes, greens trimmed and quartered lengthwise
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
4 ounces French feta, roughly crumbled
½ cup (4 to 8 ounces) mixed olives
1 cup mixed leaves of parsley, chervil, tarragon and basil
6 to 8 ounces lettuce, preferably gem, butterhead, romaine hearts or watercress
Green herb aioli, for serving
1. Make the chicken: In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and salt. Using your fingers, rub the salt and zest together to help the zest release its essential oils. Add the garlic, thyme and black pepper.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°. Using your fingers, carefully lift the skin of the chicken, releasing the skin from the meat to create pockets. Evenly distribute the salt-thyme mixture under the skin. Where you can't get under the skin (like the wings and parts of the legs), rub a bit of salt mixture on the outside of the skin. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to dry out a bit (this ensures a crisp skin).
3. Grease a roasting pan and place the chicken, breast-side up, inside. Truss the chicken (either with twine or using the extra skin near the tail), tuck the wings and rub the melted butter all over the skin. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400° and continue roasting for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh or breast with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before refrigerating.
4. Make the salad: Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. Bring a medium-sized sauce pan with generously salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until just tender and bright green, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the water and place in the ice water bath to shock the beans and stop them from cooking (this preserves their bright green color).
5. In the same pot of salted water, add the potatoes (and more water, if necessary, to cover them). Boil until a knife easily pierces the flesh, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain, set aside and let cool.
6. Place the eggs in the saucepan and add enough water to cover them by an inch. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, stir and cover with a lid. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain, run under cold water, peel and reserve. When completely cool, quarter the eggs lengthwise.
7. When the chicken is completely cool, carve the breast meat off of the bone and into slices, then cut off the legs, wings and thighs.
8. When ready to serve, arrange the chicken, green beans, potatoes, eggs and remaining ingredients in rows on a large cutting board or serving platter. Serve with a bowl of Green Herb Aioli on the side.
Crate and Barrel provided the product featured here and sponsored this post.