Monday, July 27, 2015

Smoked Chicken with Wild Rice Salad

Smoked Coquette with Wild Rice Salad photo by Mary M Payne

Just because it's hot doesn't mean I have given up on my pleasure for good food.  In fact, I am a great concoctor of salads and put this skill to use  when the weather is blazing.

  I have Monsieur bring home basic ingredients and then I improvise with what he finds. 

I got the idea for this preparation from an old favorite book called Christopher Idone's Salad Days published by Random House in 1989.  

 I didn't really know if I could find a smoked chicken but in fact we did find a fat little "coquelet" (young male chicken) instead.  It made enough for three large servings. 

The principal ingredients for this salad are:

a smoked chicken, 
a cup of wild rice cooked in chicken broth
one bunch of scallions ( often confused in French: onions vertes ou scallion being the most common terminology)
walnut pieces, toasted in butter
dried cranberries. 

sherry vinegar
juice of ½ orange
vegetable oil ( I used sesame oil and olive oil)
"Espelette" red pepper fine flakes

The original recipe called for kumquats, fresh cranberries , oriental sesame oil, hot pepper oil, grainy mustard and a garlic clove.  

I always hate to shop for just one recipe so sorry.... no kumquats or fresh cranberries ( they aren't even cultivated in France) were in the house. 

 I left out the garlic on purpose because I find raw garlic can easily become over-powering and the mustard was unhappily encased in ice in the back of the "frigo" ( but that's another story).

    I put hot pepper from Espelette on the table and Monsieur went for that.  He always likes his dishes hotter than I can stand.  Jack Sprat. 

Wild rice is not really a rice but a grass and I like the way it adds a chewy element to salad.   I also had a bunch of young green beans lying around so I steamed some of those and added them.   And I just happened to stock dried cranberries which added a nice sweet touch ( they always add sugar to them in France).

The trick with the scallions is to slice them and cut them into long strips and then put them in ice water to crisp them up.   And of course, the salad is better if the beans and rice are refrigerated a bit before serving. 

Wild rice and smoked coquelet can be found in Nice at Galeries Lafayette at Cap 3000 and maybe other stores. 

 We found this meal delicious with a cold glass of rose.  Bon Appetite. 

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