Recipe

Crisped chicken skin with fried peaches, mozzarella & bitter leaves

by Jenny Chandler

A summer salad to make the most of common leftovers

The crisped skin is the best bit of the roast chicken in my mind, and in this salad it’s the star of the show. It’s worth crisping the skin at every opportunity to crumble over salads, add to canapés or even, for a very indulgent treat, to crumble over buttered toast. Keep the skin in an airtight container to keep the crunch.

Ingredients

Skin from the breasts and thighs of 1 chicken or from 4 chicken thighs
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, bruised
1-2 slices of sourdough bread, crusts removed (can be on the stale side)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small peaches, stoned and quartered
200g rocket or other bitter salad leaves
250g mozzarella, ripped into large pieces
Juice of ½ lemon

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Scrape any excess fat and meat from the chicken skin and lay it flat on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle with salt and then top with more paper and another tray (sandwiching the skin between the trays will keep it flat and let it cook more evenly). Place in the oven for about 15 mins until golden—the skin will continue to crisp up as it cools on a piece of kitchen towel.

Warm 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a small pan until you can smell the garlic, then remove from the heat. Rip up the sourdough into rough chunks. Spread the bread over a roasting tray and sprinkle with the garlic oil (you can use the garlic for another dish). Toast the croutons in the oven for about 15 mins, until crisped but not totally dry. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Warm the frying pan with the olive oil and fry the peach quarters over a high heat for about 5 mins, until they begin to colour but don’t collapse.

Strew the salad leaves over a large platter, adding the peach pieces while still warm, the croutons, mozzarella and then lastly, breaking over shards of the chicken skin.

Sprinkle the salad with the remaining 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Recipe: Jenny Chandler