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Watercress Salad with Barbecued Chicken Breast
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Chanterelles, Shiitakes, Creminis and Oyster mushrooms.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.
Carefully ease a little of the garlic mixture into the pocket under the chicken skin.
Slice each breast on the diagonal into 6 slices.

Watercress Salad with Barbecued Chicken Breast

Serves 6

This is an ideal luncheon dish for spring or summer. The flavors are fresh. The sweet whisper of garlic and parsley in the cooked chicken. The peppery watercress and the earthy flavor of the mushrooms. It’s perfect for sunny days.

Ingredients

Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup almond or extra virgin olive oil (or a mixture of both)

Salad:

  • 6 small chicken breast halves, skin-on, boneless
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 bunches watercress, stems trimmed
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake or oyster mushrooms
Method
  1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Combine the mustard, tarragon, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Correct the seasonings, including the mustard and vinegar, and set aside.
  2. Preheat grill or a barbecue.
  3. Blanch garlic cloves in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, and slice the garlic thinly. Combine the garlic with the parsley and spread it underneath the skin of the chicken. Season the chicken with freshly ground pepper and salt, then brush it with olive oil.
  4. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the grill and cook it for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side.
  5. Wash and dry the watercress and remove the tough stems. In a big bowl toss the watercress with enough vinaigrette to coat it lightly.
  6. Heat a large skillet and add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat about 4 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Presentation

Divide the watercress among 6 salad plates. Arrange the mushrooms around it. Cut each chicken breast on the diagonal into 6 slices and arrange the slices over each plate of watercress.

Wine Recommendation:

Look at the rosé selection in your local wine merchant and see if there’s anything from Provence. Or turn to Bonny Doon and their Vin Gris, or perhaps a Californian White Zinfindel. There are many good ones and they provide a surprising counterpoint to this salad.
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