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Roasted Chicken, Chickpea, and Cauliflower Salad

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Serves 6

  • To learn more, read:
    Pot O'Gold
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 126

This party-worthy main-course salad is a wonderful combination of roasted chicken thighs and cauliflower, chickpeas, pickled red onions, olives, and peppery arugula. It’s simultaneously refreshing and filling.

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups Chickpeas with Bay Leaves and Herbs
  • 1/4 cup green olives (preferably picholine), pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 5 oz. (5 cups) baby arugula

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

Spread the chicken and cauliflower in single layers on separate large rimmed baking sheets. Toss each with 1 Tbs. of the oil, 1 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Roast with the chicken in the top third of the oven, switching positions and rotating the pans halfway through, until the cauliflower is golden and crisp-tender, about 20 minutes, and the chicken reaches 165°F, 20 to 25 minutes. Tent the chicken with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine the onion with the vinegar and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Let sit until the onion has mellowed and turned a vibrant pink, 10 to 12 minutes.

Drain the onion over a small bowl. Whisk the mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper into the vinegar. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. oil.

Slice the chicken crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cauliflower, onion, chickpeas, olives, and parsley. Toss with the dressing, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and gently toss again before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): fat g 20; Fat Calories (kcal): 180; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3.5; Protein (g): protein g 26; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 790; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 105; Fiber (g): fiber g 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this salad exactly as instructed and wouldn't change a thing. It has amazing flavor and will go in my files as a favorite. Its worth every minute it takes to make the chickpeas with bay leaves and herbs for the texture - I may never buy canned chickpeas again.

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