French Chicken Butternut Squash Salad--NEW

Recipe: French Chicken Butternut Squash Salad--NEW NEW

Remarks: For today's recipe I offer up a unique French chicken salad. In summer I want a dinner salad fairly often. I just still want something a bit warm so this salad mixes hot and cold. It also brings in a squash that I normally only eat in colder months. It was an interesting experiment and it worked!

Servings: Serves 4

For the Salad:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (1" cubes). Do not use any center parts that have seeds. Cut around them.
Olive oil for coating the squash, 2 - 3 Tbl will do it.
1 cup of walnut halves or pieces
1 broasted chicken (pre-made at the grocery store or bake your own). Cooled, pulled apart and chopped for chicken salad. White and dark meat both acceptable. Keep the carcass for making soup stock or toss it.
4 hands full of mixed lettuces or spinach
1 Tbl of fresh tarragon leaves, minced

For the dressing:
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbl of red wine vinegar
1 Tbl of Dijon mustard
1 Tbl. of mayonnaise
1 Tbl of white wine or water

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees

For the salad: In a 9 X 13" ovenproof pan toss the squash with olive oil. Roast the squash for 40 minutes. Check to see if it is soft by poking with a knife. You want the squash completely roasted. The edges will even begin to caramelize (turn brownish which gives it a sweeter flavor). Toss in the walnuts and roast for 5 minutes more to give the walnuts extra flavor too. While the squash is roasting you can pull apart your chicken. Put the chicken chunks in a large bowl. When the squash and walnuts are finished, toss them in with the chicken. Careful to get the squash out of the pan without it completely falling apart.

Make your dressing. All you need to do is put all of the ingredients in a blender and whiz it until fully mixed. If you like your dressing runnier, you can add a bit more water or wine. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture. Gently toss. The squash is likely to still be warm. Room temperature is fine too.

Serving Suggestions: Put the lettuce on the plates. Mound the chicken mixture on top and sprinkle on the tarragon.

Tarragon always makes a salad more French. Serve with a sauvignon blanc or even iced tea and enjoy a refreshing salad on a warm evening.

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola