I finally got the date straight for the potluck I was invited to. I couldn't make the fussy little curried egg sliders again, and it was too hot to grill, so I broiled chicken (my favorite way, actually), and pulled the meat off the bones, along with some of that succulent skin. In went toasted walnuts, red grapes, lots of celery and scallions, and a simple vinaigrette made with freshly squeezed orange juice.
The party I went to was a huge success. I love potlucks because it doesn't matter if you go to a lot of trouble or none at all. The buffet looks splendid and each plate has a personality.
Broiled chicken salad with toasted walnuts and orange dressing
6 pieces chicken (3 whole legs and 3 breast halves)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
2 cups walnut halves
2 cups seedless red grapes
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1 bunch scallions, sliced on the diagonal
4 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and sliced on the diagonal
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1.Turn on the broiler.
2. Trim excess fat from the chicken. Lay the pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub the skin side with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil the chicken about 12 inches from the element for 10 minutes, watching it carefully. Turn and broil 10 minutes more. Turn the oven temperature down to 400 degrees. Continue cooking the chicken for 5 to 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees. Let the chicken cool.
3. When you turn the oven down, spread the walnuts in a baking dish. Toast them, turning several times, for 8 minutes or until they are aromatic. Cool.
4. In a bowl, combine the walnuts, grapes, orange rind, scallions, and celery.
5. In another bowl, whisk 1/2 cup orange juice with salt, pepper, and mustard. Gradually whisk in the oil.
6. Remove the chicken from the bones and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Add the meat and some of the skin to the salad. Pour over the dressing. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.