Fried Chicken with Puntarelle Salad
Cross Southern fried chicken with an Italian Milanese, and you get this spin-off: crunchy batter-fried breast meat served on a salad of bitter greens. A lemon dressing with garlic and anchovy tops it.
For the salad
- 10 cups puntarelle or other bitter greens, such as dandelion greens, arugula, radicchio, or chicory (about 2 pounds), sliced if needed
- 3/4 cup torn fresh basil
- 5 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- Coarse salt
- 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the chicken
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying (about 8 cups)
- 3 chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-by-3-inch strips
- Sea salt (preferably Maldon), for sprinkling
- Garnish: 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Make the salad: Toss together puntarelle, basil, and scallions in a large bowl.
Mash garlic and a pinch of coarse salt into a paste using a mortar and pestle or scrape into a paste using the sharp side of a knife. Add anchovies, and mash. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, and stir in lemon juice. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified.
Make the chicken: Combine buttermilk, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together flour, 1 tablespoon coarse salt, and some pepper in another medium bowl.
Fill a medium pot halfway with oil. Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 380 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Dip each piece of chicken into buttermilk mixture to coat, shaking off excess. Dredge each piece in flour mixture to coat, patting it onto chicken as you work, making sure each piece is heavily coated.
Working in batches, carefully fry chicken until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper-towel-lined plates. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Toss salad with half the dressing. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Divide 3 or 4 fried chicken strips among 6 plates, and top with salad. Garnish with lemon wedges, and serve with remaining dressing on the side.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2011