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Generally Recognized As True: The 100-mile roast chicken salad

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The 100-mile roast chicken salad

Maintaining the theme of my previous post about the possibility of a 100-mile pizza, this roast chicken salad is much closer to being 100-mile:

So, what's in this? Let's look at the main ingredients:
  • 7-8 leaves lettuce: from the Georgetown Farmers' Market, and it was from a local farmer
  • 6 small tomatoes: from my garden -- the ultimate in local
  • 3 chicken drumsticks: also local

The rest of the ingredients are minor but still very important:

  • 2 sprigs rosemary: this is local
  • 1 clove garlic: this is local, from the Whole Circle Farm CSA
  • flax seeds: not local, but it is Canadian
  • salt: French unrefined grey sea salt, so this isn't local. Obviously, regular salt could be used
  • pepper: pepper won't grow in local climates, so this isn't local
  • olive oil: of course it's not local
  • Parmesan cheese: from Italy, so not local
  • white wine vinegar: I think it is Italian, but there's no reason why it needs to be

So, this is much more local than the pizza was This one turned out well, so I'll post the recipe in case I ever need to find it again.

Marinate the chicken

Pick the leaves off the sprigs of rosemary and put them in a mortar and bash them a bit with a pestle to bruise them. Then, add about 3 tbsp. olive oil and about 1 1/2 tsp. salt and a similar amount of pepper. Bash and grind everything together with the pestle until a greenish paste results (the rosemary leaves won't disintegrate and may stay whole).

Pour the marinade into a Ziploc bag and put the chicken drumsticks in the bag. Seal the bag and rub everything together from the outside to make sure the chicken is properly and well coated.

Put the bag in the fridge and wait at least 4 hours (I marinated for about 24 hours, for no particular reason other than convenience).

Cook the chicken

Pre-heat the oven to 425F with a cast iron frying pan inside. When the frying pan is very hot, tip the drumsticks into the frying pan and put it back in the oven. Let cook for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes is up, turn the drumsticks and cook for another 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes are up, put the drumsticks onto a paper towel and wrap them up to soak up some of the fat and allow them to cool a bit. Meanwhile, prepare the salad.

Prepare the salad

Wash and spin the lettuce leaves, tear them up with your hands, and put them into a bowl. Cut the tomatoes into pieces and add them to the lettuce. Mince a small garlic clove and add it to the salad.

Drizzle about 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil over the salad and then about 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and then use your fingertips to gently mix everything together.

Next, remove the chicken drumsticks from their paper towel and use a knife to separate the meat from the bone. Chop up the meat into bite-sized pieces and add it to the salad.

Again with your fingertips, gently mix the chicken with the salad.

Grate some Parmesan on top of the salad, to taste.

That's all!

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