Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Warm Chard Salad with Bacon Dressing and Pickled Cherries

This salad uses the swiss chard in with dressing that you make. It is an easy introduction and doesn't make the whole salad wilted chard.  The texture of the greens being both wilted and fresh is amazing. 

Warm Chard Salad with Bacon Dressing and Pickled Cherries

2-3 chicken legs, bone-in, skin-on (I used meat I picked off a rotisserie chicken that I bought at the store)
1 big bunch of Swiss chard, washed well, stems and center veins removed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
(I used a small bunch of swiss chard and a medium bunch of spinach)
3 slices of thick center-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 purple onion, sliced
2 1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar works well too)
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. mustard
salt and pepper
pickled cherries or dried cherries (or dried cranberries or other fruit)
3 Tbs. chopped, toasted pecans
2-3 eggs, optional


cooking the chicken:
Preheat your oven to 425F.  Put your chicken legs into a roasting pan and sprinkle well with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until completely cooked through (40-45 min. – you can cut into one to test for doneness).  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, and in the meantime you can prep the chard.  Alternatively, you can grill the chicken until cooked through.

As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle (you want it still to be warm) remove it from the bones and shred it into generously bite sized pieces.  Put in a bowl and set aside in a warm place.

making the dressing:
Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate.  

Keep the drippings in the pan and add the olive oil, the purple onion, and a generous pinch of salt.
Cook the onions until softened, about 3 minutes.  Then, turn the heat down to low and stir in the vinegar, the maple syrup, and mustard, mixing well to combine.  Add in the chard and cook for one to two minutes, until just wilted, tossing it all the while to coat it well with the dressing.  Taste and toss with more salt and some pepper to taste.

assemble the salad:
Depending on how many people you’re serving, divide the spinach / chard between 2 or 3 plates.  

Divide the chicken and the bacon bits between the plates, then arrange a small handful of pickled cherries (or dried fruit) on each plate.  Finally, sprinkle with chopped pecans.

If desired, poach or fry one egg per person until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny (generally 3-4 minutes).  Place an egg on top of each salad.  Serve!