My mom likes contrasts in her foods. I like her theory. Cold and hot. Creamy and crunchy. A little sweet and a little sour. Colors. Tastes. Textures. Keeping these extremes in mind while you play in the kitchen can help magic happen. I was thinking about her theory while putting this salad together. (By the way, I am aware that too many of my salads involve blue cheese and bacon, but I can’t help it)
I was reading an article in Cook’s Countryabout Nashville Hot Chicken. I didn’t want to make fried chicken. But, it got me thinking about a salad they serve at Neiman’s Mermaid Bar that is essentially fried chicken strips slathered in buffalo wing sauce and served on greens with blue cheese. Again, I wasn’t in the mood for fried. So I thought, what if I used the techniques from the Nashville Hot Chicken but pan grilled the chicken and put it into a salad? Cool…but hot. It worked. It was delicious. And if you are feeding people who like a little kick in their dinner, it is a hit. The basic technique is: brine the chicken, pan grill the chicken, coat the chicken, chop it all up and put it on a bed of greens and veggies (yes, and bacon).
So let’s say this salad is an homage to the editors of Cooks Country and their Nashville Hot Chicken. ..and the cooks at Neiman’s…and bacon.