1 chicken, about 3 ? pounds
2 egg yolks
? teaspoon salt
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon good red wine vinegar
1 cups oil (preferably equal parts of virgin olive and peanut or grape-seed oil)
1 or 2 heads Boston lettuce, cleaned and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
1 tomato, cut in wedges
1 tablespoon large capers
1 can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets in oil, halved lengthwise
1 carrot, peeled and cut into strips with a vegetable peeler


1. To poach the chicken: Put it breast side down in a narrow stainless steel pan. Add 4 cups tepid water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence, 2 bay leaves, 1 cleaned leek, 1 peeled onion, and 2 carrots. Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes. Cool in the hot liquid 30 minutes more, remove and let cool to room temperature. Strain the stock and freeze it for later use. Pull out the two legs which should separate easily from the carcass and remove the skin of the breast and the legs.
2. Still using your fingers, remove the bone from the breast as well as from the thigh and drums. Slice the breast meat on a slant to have long, thin slices. Slice then pound the leg meat slightly to extend it and have nice thin slices.
3. To make the mayonnaise: Be sure that egg yolks and oil are at room temperature or they will separate, especially since there is no mustard to help bind all of the elements .
4. Whisk the yolks, salt, pepper and vinegar in a nonreactive bowl. Add the oil slowly while beating with the whisk. As the mayonnaise becomes harder, add the oil a bit faster. The mayonnaise should be a nice spreading consistency. 5. To assemble the salad: Pile the slices of lettuce together and shred thinly with the heart. Season with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the vinegar and salt, and place in the bottom of a large, open, preferable glass bowl. Drop the carrot strips into boiling water for approximately 30 seconds to wilt the slices so they can be folded; refresh under cold water and set aside.
6. Arrange the slices of chicken on top of the lettuce. Be sure to cover all the lettuce, alternating slices of dark and white meat. Using a spatula, cover the top of the chicken with about inch of mayonnaise in a dome shape, making it smooth with the spatula. Arrange the carrot strips as though they were ribbons on a package, and make borders on the carrot strips with strips of anchovy. Place the hard-boiled egg quarters, tomato wedges and capers decoratively over the surface. Serve as soon as possible.
The word “mayonnaise,” writes Jacques Pepin, always denotes a cold salad when associated with poultry, poached fish, shellfish, or cold meats. This chicken salad is delicate and elegant, with thin strips of poached chicken layered over lettuce and spread with a thick layer of homemade mayonnaise. Do not assemble the salad more than an hour before serving, or the lettuce will soften and the mayonnaise discolor.
Mayonnaise of Chicken (Ch
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