Leftover Roast Chicken (or Turkey) & Bread Salad
he working title for this page was "Chicken Salad." This,
of course, conjures up images of little bits of chicken swimming in
mayonnaise with a lot of celery. Just not right. This is our riff on
the quite excellent Zuni Cafe (San
Francisco) Roast Chicken and Bread Salad, so the name you now see. Our
first recipe for this site was Roast Chicken which we cook every few
weeks for Friday night dinner. We always buy a chicken large enough to
leftovers to make this salad which we typically eat the next
Monday night. OK, maybe we're in a rut, but good is just good.
Another great thing is that if you are facing the task of "what to do with all that Thanksgiving leftover turkey"
just substitute in and you are good to go.
As you might guess, we think it is absolutely delicious. It is most definitely a 'dinner salad'.
is an example of taking a recipe and making it your own. There's
much that's new under the sun and recipes are certainly no exception.
(Sure once in a while you hear about cronuts and the like, never would
have thought of that.) Then there are the times that a good recipe is
very good, but is better (so far as your own tastes are concerned) with
your own tweaks. This isn't hard, it isn't complicated, it is about
your own taste. Really you can take a recipe and make it your own!
we mentioned, the basis of this recipe comes from the
Zuni Cafe. It is part of their recipe for roast
chicken. The whole thing is available is many places across the web,
but we are happy to say
that we own the cookbook and highly recommend it if for nothing more
than that exact recipe. It's where we learned about 'dry brining'. (See
our Roast Chicken
the changes come under the heading:
"More is More"
& Don't Sweat the Details
The original recipe called for a "generous
8 ounces slightly stale open-crumbed, chewy, peasant-style bread (not
What we like is the "Seeduction Bread" they
sell at Whole Foods. Over time, the price
of a loaf kept going up. Then around here, at least, it disappeared. We
tell a lot of people complained. Then it was back and the price was
lower. Then Amazon bought Whole Foods and the price was lower still
(though not exactly cheap).
Then the price went up. Amazon knows when they have you hooked. The seeds are nice but what we really like is the slightly sweet
"molassesy" flavor that seems to go really well with the rest of our
recipe. The loaf is about 24 ounces and we find
into three parts gives us enough for three dinners (for 2). Oddly
enough and not at all related, that's exactly how much the original
recipe calls for. There are several copycat recipes for this bread out there on the web.
If you can't do Seeduction bread or it just isn't your thing, go with what
the original recipe calls for.
The original recipe calls for 1
When we first made the recipe
we searched out currants. They look like small raisins, cost
more and usually come in a box. What is a raisin? A dried grape. In
case what we call currants are dried Black Corinth
grapes, i.e, they're raisins! They are also known as Zante currants,
day when we were at a friend's winery, the winemaker ran in with a
handful of very small grapes. He said they might make his best Cabernet ever. The
small berries would yield very little, but very intense juice and a
great Cab. Similarly the smaller currants are sweeter.
day when our box of
currants was gone and we didn't want to go to the market, we used
regular raisins from the huge stash we'd gotten at Costco. Worked just
fine and we haven't looked back. And we use a whole lot more than the recipe called for,
anyhow. We hope the Zuni people will forgive our excesses.
They can be
expensive, but come under the category of very much worth it. We're
partial to the Trader Joe's toasted version. The original recipe calls for 2 TB. We like at least a third of a cup.
Toasting gives them more
flavor and can be tricky. If you decide to toast raw ones yourself
in the oven or in a dry skillet) don't walk away. They burn quickly.
Better yet, we suggest this brilliant method from Good Eats
guru Alton Brown:Pine Nuts Toasted in the Microwave
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tsp kosher salt
Put the pine nuts in a small sieve and rinse with water. Add the salt
and mix. Place in a small paper bag, folding the top over so it is
closed. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Your microwave will
undoubltedbly be different than ours. If they aren't done, microwave
again in 30 second increments until they are done. For us 2 minutes was
be tempted to forego the salt. In the interests of science we
tried. At the 3 minute mark we decided it probably would get
toasted eventually but we figured it was just taking too long as well. The salt clearly
accelerates the heating process. We also tried using half the salt. It
didn't seem as effective but again, with enough iterations, it might
have gotten to a proper point. So if you are flush with untoasted
pinenuts are fans of experimentation, go for it. Just do it slowly.
At some point it will
And actually, you can put the toasted nuts back in a sieve and rinse
off the salt with water. Pine nuts are often used in pesto which will call for
salt. Take that into account and you'll be all set.
far as we're concerned, scallions are green onions. We know people who
not make the recipe unless they could find "scallions". And that is a
point we'd like to make. When you don't have the exact ingredient,
please do experiment with something else. Might even be better
(possibly cheaper). We like to use a little more than the 4
scallions the original recipe calls for. (Of course, green onions can
be large or small, making the amount variable at best. We
get big thick ones, so adjust accordingly; besides required quantities for these ingredients are very loose!
the way, this is really quite interesting. If you have green onions
with their roots, you can cut the green onion near the bottom (say
leave at least 1/4" of the white part along with the roots) and plant
it in the ground. It actually will grow an entire new green onion.
(You can also do it in water.)
whole point of
this recipe is to use the leftovers from the very big roast
chicken we make on Fridays for our salad dinner on the next Monday.
Which means there is a very good chance you already
have what you need to make stock and, as it happens, our recipe for
that is on the roast chicken
. But we also have been known to
either use or supplement with the Trader Joe's "chicken flavored savory
broth" (shown in the picture up above that has the big bottle of red wine vinegar). We are big fans of gravy with our roast
chicken. We always save a little to add to the stock in this
recipe. That way you also get a lot of the roast chicken herbs and
spices (mostly rosemary) to kick up the flavor of the salad. The original recipe calls
for stock or lightly
We say, stick with the stock.
original recipe says: arugula,
frisée, or red mustard greens.
there is no choice. Only use mustard greens. Where we shop
there is only one choice, a bunch of mustard
greens and that's what we get. They are at our Whole Foods about half
the time and at the local large market that caters to various ethnic
populations about 99% of the time (and half the price). The original
recipe also calls for "a few handfuls". What does that mean? Who knows,
use the entire bunch for two of us. We have also noticed that the size
of a bunch varies during the year. We suggest that a bunch should
be 12 to 16 ounces.
See the pictures for the general size of a bunch.
Yes, in case you were wondering, mustard greens seeds are used to make the ubiquitous condiment: mustard.
The greens have a peppery quality. Sometimes you will find that they
are called American Mustard Greens or Curly Mustard Greens. They are
part of the Brassicaceae family which also includes Kale, Cabbages,
Horseradish, Arugula and a whole bunch more.
do this recipe a lot and got stuck when our normal outlets said they
didn't have any mustard greens. We started calling around and nobody
had mustard greens!
Well, at one point one market said so and we went there. They
were mistaken. We weren't happy. Finally we called the local Vons
market (aka Safeway, aka Cerberus Capital Management which
owns Albertsons). They said they had 'curly mustard'. We didn't really
wondering if they were trying to differentiate from Asian mustard
greens (which don't really work in this salad). But off we went and what they
meant is shown in the picture. Couldn't find them in the regular
produce section and asked. Produce person pointed to a refrigerator
case on the wall where we finally found bags of washed,
mustard greens, labeled curly mustard.
Well, they weren't as good as a fresh bunch, but we had our roast
chicken leftovers and we weren't going to not go for it, so in a pinch
It actually ended up being slightly cheaper as a half bag was plenty.
But do try to get the fresh bunch.
We usually buy a 6 lb chicken for our Friday night dinner. Since we
also have mashed potatoes and sautéed snow or snap peas, there is going
to be a lot of leftovers. Usually about a pound once taken
off the bone. More than enough for 2 people in this big salad recipe.
We like the chicken to be at room temperature or just slightly above
when we put it on the salad, but if it has just come out of the fridge,
a nice trick it to put it on a plate and cover with lettuce (to provide
some coverage and moisture), then microwave at a low power for a
- Mustard greens, bunch. We suggest at least 12 oz to a pound depending on what you like.
- 3 oz. currants or raisins (see above)
- 3 oz red wine vinegar
- olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard optional
- Few drops Nam Pla (fish sauce), optional (for umami)
- 8 ounces slightly stale open-crumbed, chewy, peasant-style
bread, we prefer Seeduction Bread (see above) cut/torn into about 1/2" cubes
(larger if you like, besides you don't have to and mostly can't be exact)
- 4 large cloves garlic, smashed and chopped or otherwise
chopped into small pieces.
- 4-6 green onions (or to taste), chopped into about 1/4"
pieces, all the white, some of the green
- Pine nuts, toasted, 1/3 cup give or take
- Black Pepper, preferably from a pepper mill
- OPTIONAL but a nice thing if you can: Some leftover gravy and/or chicken broth (see above). About
1 TB if thick or concentrated (such as the Trader Joe's where you can use 1 packet), a few TB if thin.
- Leftover roast chicken or turkey, 12oz to 16oz, or whatever you like to eat. We like our own roast chicken
cooked with lots of rosemary. Tear into bite size pieces. In a pinch,
get a rotisserie chicken from the market (but watch out, they can be
very salty so cut down on any other salt you might use).
- Walnut oil (or other 'specialty' oil of your liking, such
as hazelnut, etc. Maybe even avocado?)
- Large grained salt such as Sea salt or Kosher Salt, optional
A few hours before dinner, or even in the morning, soak the raisins (or
currants) in the wine vinegar.
the leaves of the mustard greens off the stalks, discarding the stalks.
Wash the leaves in a salad spinner and dry. (We usually store them
paper towels in the fridge earlier in the day.)
Lightly spray or
brush the bread cubes with some olive oil, then lightly toast under the
broiler. Be careful not to overdo it! Alternatively, forget the oil and
bake the cubes in a 350 degree oven until lightly brown
what we do, there will be plenty more oil later so who needs it here?). We usually
earlier in the day.
If using, add the optional nam pla, the optional leftover roast chicken
gravy (or chicken stock), and the optional Dijon mustard to
the raisin mixture. (See above.) Our leftover gravy is refrigerated so
we might have to warm the mixture up just a bit to get it to
incorporate. We do it in the microwave. But you don't want it to be hot
when you put it into the salad.
In a smallish frying pan, sauté the garlic and green onions
in olive oil. How much? We use 2-5 TB depending on how many greens
there are. Use what you like, but don't go overboard, you
don't want the greens swimming in oil. Allow to cool somewhat, you
don't want it hot when you put it into the salad
Tear the mustard greens into smallish pieces and place in a large
bowl. Add the green onion mixture and mix the salad with your hands.
Add the raisin vinegar mixture and mix again.
Add the pine nuts and the bread cubes and mix again.
Grind black pepper over the salad and mix again.
Divide the salad mixture onto (in our case 2) plates. Top with the
Drizzle the walnut oil over the salad.
If using, lightly sprinkle the salt over the salad.
his is easy. One of the very best
things you can pair with roast chicken or turkey is a really good pinot noir. As
you can see we had this with the 2013 Nalle Pinot and it was really
good. Sure there are other things that can work, Champagne comes to
mind. Or, certainly try the 2018 Nalle Zin. A classic!
Here is a summary
of the recipe in a .pdf you can print