Chicken and bacon salad with bacony dressing

I know a recipe for chicken and bacon salad seems pretty basic, but this is one of my favourite things to eat EVER, and is particularly good when served up for lunch for friends or taken on a picnic, so I definitely think it’s worth sharing. In fact, my favourite chicken and bacon salad moment was spent sitting on a bench on Dover’s Hill in the Cotswolds, with a huge box of this sat between me and my best friend as we munched on it and took in the view.

Anyway, I digress. This salad is my favourite way to use up leftover chicken (in fact I would rather eat less chicken for the main dinner so that I have enough left for this), especially since I rarely feel like I can justify buying and cooking chicken JUST for this salad. I only buy free-range chicken so we don’t eat it that often as it’s so expensive. I normally buy the cheaper pieces like thighs or legs, but once we’ve eaten those for dinner there’s rarely any leftovers. So having this salad is really a rare treat!

If I’d had some avocados I would have definitely put them in – I love their cool creaminess against the rich dressing and crispy bacon. I’ve also seen a Nigella recipe were she crumbles some chestnuts into the pan with the bacon which sounds incredible. I’m definitely going to try that with the can of chestnuts I’ve got left from Christmas!

If you can really call this a recipe, then here goes:

Chicken and bacon salad with a bacony dressing
Serves 2

2 handfuls of cooked, torn chicken
4/5 rashers streaky bacon/pancetta
Salad leaves (I used a bag of beetroot salad here)
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pan fry the bacon/pancetta until crispy. Arrange the salad leaves in the bowl and scatter over the chicken. When the bacon is cooked cut into pieces and scatter over the salad. Mix together the olive oil with the dijon mustard. Add this mixture to the pan (off the heat) and stir to mix the bacony juices in with the mustard and oil (I use one of those little curly whisks in the picture below). Add the vinegar and mix again, and everything should become a glossy emulsion. Pour over the salad and enjoy!


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