Red Butter Leaf Salad with Roasted Chicken, Fennel and Parmesean

Bunco- the game of choice for suburban women everywhere. Some call it “drunko”, which is also a legitimate moniker.  Any game that involves dice and drinking may or may not end in total inebriation. But don’t tell Hubs, I’ve got him thinking I’m involved in a knitting circle of some sort.

I was first invited into Bunco by my friend with 5 kids. I quickly learned that every woman (especially those with 5 kids) needs an excuse to escape her household. For the lucky twelve in my group it is for bunco. We rotate houses, drink wine, eat fabulous meals, eat far too much chocolate, all while complaining  about our kids, our jobs or anything really.  About 3 hours later when we are all feeling better about our respective lives, we start rolling the dice.

Hubs stayed back to wrangle the kids last Friday and was joined by his brother-in-law who is also a new dad. I felt obligated to make them something nice before I left since I knew the Bunco spread was going to be fabulous. Since both guys are in good shape and like to eat healthy I made this salad inspired by a great little eatery in La Jolla. They use arugula, poached chicken, fennel and shaved Parmesan. I used roasted chicken for more flavor, swapped out arugula for the red butter leaf from my CSA basket, kept in the fennel and Parmesan and added chard confetti for a bit of color.

I felt great leaving the guys with a tasty and healthy meal, one that took only 7 minutes to make, start to finish. I also left them a Bloody Mary Bar, which I think they enjoyed just as much as the salad.

Red Butter Leaf Salad with Roasted Chicken, Fennel and Parmesan

1 roasted chicken, I went with store-bought

1 large head butter leaf lettuce

1 bulb fennel (some call it anise)

Chard stems, diced (optional)

4-5 oz Shaved Parmesan

For the dressing-

1/2 c. olive oil

1/3 cup. Vinegar ( I like white balsamic or apple cider)

1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces and place in a serving bowl. Slice fennel thinly from the large bulb end. Place on top of lettuce. Shred the chicken meat from the bone and allow to cool slightly so the lettuce does not wilt. Room temperature is best. Place chicken on top of lettuce and fennel. Top with shaved Parmesan and chopped chard stems for color.

In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar and Dijon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Dress salad just before serving.

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