Winter Chicken Salad with Citrus and Celery
7 tender celery ribs, 6 thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed but unpeeled
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
3 medium blood oranges
Sea salt to taste
4 12oz chicken breasts on the bone
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 cups shaved Grana Padano cheese
2/3 cups Marcona almonds, chopped
- In a large saucepan, combine whole celery rib, garlic, and peppercorns with 6 cups of water. Using a peeler, remove the zest from 2 of the oranges and add it to the saucepan. Season lightly with salt and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and let simmer for 16 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let the chicken stand for exactly 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, and pull the meat from the bones, discarding the skin. Shred the chicken, and let cool completely. Reserve the broth for another use, if desired.
- Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a strainer set over a large bowl, cut in-between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl, then whisk in vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken, sliced celery, orange sections, and cheese to a bowl, and toss well. Mound the salad on a platter, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve.