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Lemon Chicken Salad on Crostini

Chopped fresh dill may be substituted for the tarragon and diced Belgian endive for the fennel. The resulting salad will have a more Scandinavian flavor than this Mediterranean appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 French or sourdough baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 28)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt, to taste, plus 3/4 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 3/4 lb. total, pounded lightly to an even thickness and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered lengthwise and finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

Make the crostini
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

Cook the chicken
Meanwhile, grate 1/2 tsp. zest from the lemon. Halve the lemon and squeeze 1 tsp. juice. Set the zest and juice aside.

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the canola oil. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown and opaque, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.

Prepare the chicken salad
In a bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, fennel, green onion, the 3/4 tsp. tarragon, the mayonnaise, the 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.

Chop the chicken finely. Add to the fennel mixture and toss until thoroughly blended. Spoon a generous tablespoonful of the salad onto each crostini, garnish with tarragon and serve. Makes 28 crostini.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).