Recipe: Smoked Chicken in Red Endive Leaves
Published: December 17, 2013 04:53PM
Updated: December 17, 2013 09:36AM
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Blood orange negronis, Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms and Broccoli Pesto in Brioche Boxes and Smoked Chicken in Red Endive Leaves are on the menu with this casual party plan by Taste Catering in Northern California. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

You’re looking for an excuse to wear that little black dress and bust out your favorite martini glasses. For busy couples who have mixology on their minds and not a lot of time, Taste Catering president Margaret Teskey, an Irish native with a love for classic drinks, recommends an early-in-the-week, adults-only cocktail party with passed appetizers, including these Smoked Chicken in Red Endive Leaves.

Smoked Chicken in Red Endive Leaves

Serves 8

Note: The rye berries should be started the day before. You may substitute puffed kamut or chopped nuts.

Puffed Rye Berries:

1 1/2 cups rye berries, rinsed in cold water

Salt

Oil for frying

Chicken salad:

2 cups smoked chicken, diced very small

1 stalk celery, minced

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Apple-Black Cardamom Compote:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound Vidalia sweet onions, diced small

1/2 pound Granny Smith apples, diced small

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Leaves from 1 sprig thyme

1/2 stick cinnamon

1 teaspoon black cardamom

To assemble:

1 lemon

Red endives

Hazelnut oil

1 bunch chives, minced

In a saucepan, combine rye berries with 1 quart water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Drain and cool.

Set oven to lowest temperature (130 to 145 degrees). Transfer rye berries to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and let dry in the oven for 10 to 15 hours or overnight. You may need to prop the oven door open so the temperature doesn’t go too high. Stir the grains occasionally so they dry evenly.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry the rye berries in batches; use a slotted spoon to remove them once they pop. Drain them on paper towels.

Mix all the chicken salad ingredients together. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

For the compote, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute. Add remaining compote ingredients. Cook until the moisture evaporates and the consistency resembles chutney. Let cool.

Make a small bowl of acidulated water by squeezing the lemon into 2 cups cold water. Trim the endive to create individual spears; dip each spear into the lemon water to prevent browning. Each endive should yield about 8 good sized leaves.

Spoon a small amount of chicken salad into each endive spear; top with a dollop of compote. Drizzle with a little hazelnut oil. Sprinkle with a few puffed rye berries and top with chives. Serve.