Chicken Tonnato Salad

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READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by Lorraine of AZ

Many are familiar with tonnato (tuna) sauce: it is spooned over chilled veal or chicken breast slices to make a tasty meal. However in this version, it is the dressing which coats the salad ingredients and makes quite an impressive salad that is perfect for company. I received a new cookbook last week and this recipe plus 2 more leaped out at me "to try first." The book is "Easy Pasta" published by Ryland, Peters, and Small. Note that though the list of ingredients is long, the gremolata is actually made from many of the same ingredients as the dressing, but roughly chopped. If you are not a purist (I'm not!), you can also substitute rotisserie chicken for the chicken in the recipe. Be sure to zest your lemon before you juice it and use a well flavored tuna for this salad; tuna packed in oil generally has the best flavor. Cooling time for the chicken is not included in the timing. Prepare the chicken in the morning for afternoon service. This is the perfect salad for Memorial Day or Fourth of July.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. First, prepare the chicken. Pour the broth and wine in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the onion, celery, bay leaf, lemon and peppercorns and simmer 5 minutes. Carefully lower the chicken breasts into the broth in a single layer, adding some boiling water, if needed, to cover them. Bring back to a boil, then turn the heat right down and simmer very slowly for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pan, and allow the chicken to cool in the broth. (This will take about 4-5 hours.).
  2. When the chicken is cool, make the dressing. Put the tuna in a food processor with the capers, lemon juice, and anchovies. Process until you have a paste. Add the mayonnaise and cayenne and process again until smooth. Turn into a large bowl. Put all the ingredients for the gremolata in another bowl and mix them together to combine.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, or according to package directions. Refresh with cold water.
  4. Once the chicken is cool, make the dressing. Put the tuna in a food processor with the capers, lemon juice, and anchovies. Process until you have a paste. Add the mayonnaise and cayenne pepper and process again until smooth. Turn into a large bowl. Put all the ingredients for the gremolata in another bowl and mix them together to combine.
  5. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and cut into rough chunks. Add the chicken, pasta and gremolata to the dressing and toss lightly. Check the seasoning adding more lemon juice or cayenne to taste (you shouldn't need salt.).
  6. To serve: arrange a handful of salad leaves on each plate, scatter over a few tomatoes, then spoon the salad on top. Arrange the artichoke hearts, if using, over the top and sprinkle with the roughly chopped parsley.

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