Has finding uses for leftover fried chicken ever really been much of a problem? Eat it cold while standing in front of the open refrigerator as you ponder the effort it would take to make a sandwich with it, right? But if you are able to make it past that very satisfying immobility, you should try this recipe from Lee Brian Schrager's Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides. For his chicken salad, Georgia chef Hugh Acheson mixes chilled, diced fried chicken with mayonnaise, shallots, celery and refreshing herbs, then spikes it with crushed red pepper and hot sauce. It's really a tremendous salad, but the chicken Acheson fries for it deserves a shout-out of its own: a flavorful brine keeps the chicken thighs succulent, and a nicely salty dredge fries to a light, crisp crust.
Why I picked this recipe: It's always nice to have a clever way to use leftovers, and I'm a big fan of Hugh Acheson.
What worked: The fried chicken thighs are worth making on their own, and the chicken salad is bold and rich (the herbs serve to mitigate the richness just enough).
What didn't: Schrager mentions in the intro that the crunchy skin adds textural interest to the salad, but after hanging around in the fridge overnight, it wasn't really very crisp anymore.
Suggested tweaks: The recipe instructs to chill the fried chicken for at least two hours; I would say to not do much longer than that if you want the crunchy-skin effect. That said, a warm salad made with the just-fried chicken doesn't sound like a bad idea to me, either. Further, the chicken salad is worth making even if you don't want to use a fried bird—roasted or poached chicken would still result in a delicious sandwich.
As usual, we are giving away 5 copies of Fried & True this week.
Reprinted from Fried & True by Lee Schrager with Adeena Sussman. Copyright (c) 2014 by Lee Schrager. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, LLC.