FACT: Bulbs of fennel in piles at the farmers markets are still young and tender, with mild flavor.
FACT: The first fully-ripe apricots of the season have appeared in markets.
FACT: Chicken salad is delicious.
FACT: Thyme makes chicken salad even more delicious.
This simple FACT salad (so-named for fennel, apricots, chicken, and thyme) was inspired by a pile of ripe apricots. Fruit is, of course, a nice addition to chicken salads and tuna salads and other branches of the protein-y salad family. I liked the idea of apricots with cold chicken, since it’s delicious to cook chicken with apricots or plums. But I felt like a chicken salad with apricots also needed some sort of fresh crunch. Hence, the fennel. Add a bit of thyme, ideally lemon thyme, and some homemade mayonnaise, and you’re done. The salad would also work great with plums or pluots.
FACT: Fennel-Apricot-Chicken-Thyme Salad
- two chicken thighs, cooked any way you like. (I pre-roasted mine.)
- two ripe apricots
- half a small bulb of fennel, white part and a little bit of green stalks and leaves.
- a few spoonfuls of homemade mayonnaise (bowl recipe and food processor recipe). I made my mayonnaise mustard-heavy this time, and used both apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in it. I used the kind of mustard that has seeds in it, although that’s not necessary.
- a few sprigs of thyme, ideally lemon thyme
1. Cook the chicken thighs, or use leftover roast chicken. I roasted them at 450 with a few vegetables, some schmaltz, and a little white wine. Cool them.
2. Chop up chicken, apricots and fennel into small pieces. Remove leaves from thyme sprigs.
3. Mix everything up with spoonfuls of mayonnaise to taste.