Recipe: Miznon Inspired Chicken Salad

photo courtesy of Ben Nerot

photo courtesy of Ben Nerot

I've spending a lot of time this summer showing my boyfriend around the city. He's new to Paris and it's fun to see someone discover the city for the first time. While the traffic and chaos has been overwhelming as he transitioned into life in a busy city, there are so many beautiful parts of Paris to explore and (re)discover that make it worth the whelm. 

Visiting classic tourist destinations like the Louvre, the Ile de la Cité, and the Marais has meant that we find ourselves often in downtown Paris- which is known for its museums and monuments, but unfortunately not for its choices in good food

That's why we've become casual regulars at Miznon, an outpost of an Israeli sandwich shop, which has catered our Seine-side apéros, our Place des Vosges picnics, and our post-museum munchies

Fresh veggies abound at Miznon photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen Keating

Fresh veggies abound at Miznon photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen Keating

After trying most of the sandwiches on Miznon's menu, including the bouef bourguignon, roasted cauliflower, and ratatouille, we unanimously settled on the chicken salad sandwich as our favorite.

The sandwich exemplifies what Miznon is great at- not being afraid of using veggies and a ton of fresh herbs. There is chicken in this sandwich, that's for sure, but you only get to it after munching through freshly chopped parsley and a generous dose of red and green onions. A hearty scoop of mayonnaise seals the deal when you discover it at the bottom of your pita, which by now you have started attacking from all angles. 

Miznon's chicken salad sandwich photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen Keating

Miznon's chicken salad sandwich photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen Keating

But now summer is changing to fall, and after a few months of sightseeing and being tourists, we've had our own rentrée and are back to typical Parisian ways- which is to say, sticking to our neighborhood and spending most of our days running to catch the butcher, baker, wine seller, or veggie vendor before they close.

While I don't miss spending time among the non-stop waves of people along rue de Rivoli or in the winding streets of the Marais, I think we both miss our regular visits to one of our favorite downtown dining addresses. Which is why I was thrilled when my boyfriend served a spin on our favorite Miznon sandwich for lunch the other day.

His chicken salad had all the charm of the Miznon version, without their amazing, homemade pita bread- which isn't worth getting anywhere but the restaurant itself. 

This salad is best made in the summer, when cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers are readily available- but I bet you'll love it so much that you'll come up with an autumn/winter adaptation when in need!

Miznon Inspired Chicken Salad

Makes enough for 4 people

Ingredients

For the dressing:

1 bunch dill, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves

50 cl crème fraîche

Salt & Pepper

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Olive oil

For the salad:

3-4 chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

200 grams roquette

1 medium sized cucumber, cut in halves

12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Olive Oil

1 green bellpepper, sliced

2 red onions, thinly sliced

1 bunch parsley, chopped

Preparation

First, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, add pressed garlic cloves, dill, and crème fraîche. Stir together until combined then salt and pepper to taste. Stir in balsamic vinegar and then slowly add a thin stream of olive oil, until the dressing has thinned a bit. Adjust seasoning to taste and then cover bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Cut your chicken breasts crosswise into equal sized pieces (you should get about 6-8 cuts, depending on the size of the breast). Warm a saucepan on the stovetop on medium high heat (note that you do not need to add any oil or butter to the pan). Once pan is hot, add all your chicken pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, turning often. Cook until chicken is golden on the outside, but tender on the inside, about 7-9 minutes. Once cooked, set aside to cool to room temperature.

In the meantime, assemble the salad. In large salad bowls or soup plates, arrange a layer of roquette, followed by a portion of cucumber, and tomatoes, spreading the ingredients equally among the four dishes, add a dash of olive oil on top of each salad.

Cut the room-temperature chicken into quarters and add to each salad. Top with green bellpepper and then dress generously with the cream dressing. Top with red onions and parsley and serve immediately.