Here is Chef Voula Halliday's recipe for a sumptuous salad with chicken, fennel and apple that can be enjoyed as a perfect one-dish meal or as a wonderful addition to your luncheon buffet. This salad is delicious as a vegetarian version too. Just skip the chicken.
2 skin on, bone in chicken breasts, Chicken
1 dried bay leaf
4 sprigs parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) whole black peppercorns
2 large green apples, Salad
1 large fennel bulb
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely sliced mint
2 tbsp (30 mL ) finely sliced basil
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely sliced chives
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
to taste salt and pepper
1/3 cup Kalamata olives (optional)
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (optional)
1. Place chicken, bay leaf, parsley and peppercorn into a small saucepan. Add cold water, covering chicken by about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Set over medium hight heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes, or when chicken is springy to the touch. Remove chicken from liquid (liquid can be used for soup). When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and discard. Separate the meat from the bones and discard bones. Set cooked chicken aside.
2. Slice apple in half. Remove core, then cut apple into thin wedges. Place in a large mixing bowl. Cut stalks from bulb of fennel. Remove the fronds from the stalks and set aside. (You can save the stocks to add to a soup stock.) Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise. Remove the core, and then cut into thin strips and place in bowl with apple.
3. Cut cooked chicken into bite size strips. Add to bowl with sliced mint, basil, chives, lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss salad until everything is evenly combined. You can serve it right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. When ready to serve, arrange salad onto a platter. Remove pits from olives, slice and scatter both olives and sunflower seeds over salad. Serve.