Bradley Smoked Chicken Salad
Some signs of brighter weather, and salad days are back... What could be better than plump organic chicken supremes, apple wood smoked to a glorious golden brown and served with a crisp, lemony, Waldorf style salad?
2 plump smoked chicken breasts
1/2 pack of watercress, spinach & rocket salad leaves
2 tender sticks of celery, trimmed young celery leaves
2 Cox's apples
small handful of walnut pieces
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp walnut oil
I used organic chicken, and I prefer to leave the skin on for a more succulent, moist result.
Prepare a brine of 500ml water, boiled with a clove of crushed garlic and some fresh rosemary, mixed with 75g salt and 25g brown sugar. Allow to cool completely then immerse 2 chicken supremes in the brine (in a snug plastic container) and leave for 30 minutes.
Remove and rinse (discard the brine).
Pat dry and lay on a Bradley wire basket. Heat the Bradley Smoker to 180°F/82°C, load with Apple Bisquettes, and smoke for about 1 - 1½ hours or until cooked. Allow to cool before slicing and serve at room temperature.
Editor's note: Having included fresh herbs and garlic in the brining liquor I was not surprised that the flavours were all but completely lost - as so often happens with marinated meat on a barbecue, the flavours are cooked away. So too with my smoked chicken; the subtle notes from brining were no match for the flavour of apple wood smoke. If you do want to impart a fresh herb flavour to your chicken then consider skewering it with a piece of rosemary immediately before hot smoking. Or you could make an incision into the thickest part of the breast (horizontally) and fill with a paste of garlic, herbs, seasoning and olive oil (made with a pestle and mortar or mini processor), again you would do this immediately before hot smoking.
Prepare, brine and smoke the chicken supremes as per the instructions above. Once cooled, slice diagonally into 1cm pieces. One supreme is enough to serve two for a delicious light lunch or starter.
Slice the celery sticks. Quarter the apples and remove the core, then cut into 2cm chunks and toss in a bowl with the lemon juice, walnut oil, walnuts, celery and a little salt and pepper. Add some young leaves from the centre of the head of celery and the mixed salad leaves. Turn together briefly and divide between plates. Fan a few slices of smoked chicken over the salad and serve with warmed, crusty bread.