Zucchini and Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinegar Recipe

Salade Courgette et Poulet au Vinaigre de Framboise

[Zucchini and Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinegar]

Ever since I served raw zucchini sticks with my anchoïade a few weeks ago and experienced a private tastebud epiphany, I have felt it my personal mission to let the world know how incredibly delicious and subtly sweet zucchini tastes in its most natural simple naked state.

It is best to keep this treatment for the freshest zucchini, slender young things with smooth skin and firm flesh that feel heavy for their size, and summer’s a good time to find them at the elitist farmers’ market nearest you — if you’re lucky they will still be wearing their pretty yellow flower hat — or in your own garden if you belong to the happy zucchini growers’ club, in which case you should fedex me a crate, thank you so much.

This salad is a lovely use for leftover roasted chicken: I also like to buy cold roasted chicken from my rôtisserie on rue des Abbesses, as they sometimes sell in the afternoon what’s left from the lunch rush, for the mere price of 5€. The salad also features my newly acquired and much treasured bottle of raspberry vinegar, which complements the moist chicken and the snappy zucchini in a beautifully colorful and tangy way.


On an unrelated note, if you are a food blogger living in Europe, it’s not too late to join us in the Blogging by Post event that’s taking place this week-end: send a small care package, receive one, and blog about it!

Salade de Courgette et Poulet au Vinaigre de Framboise

– 4 small, young zucchini
– leftovers from a roasted chicken, roughly the equivalent of one breast and one thigh — if you don’t have leftover chicken, you can simply sauté two chicken breasts in a skillet
– 3 Tbsp raspberry vinegar
– 2 Tbsp walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil)
– freshly-ground pepper, salt

(Serves 2.)

Cut the zucchini in matchsticks using a mandoline or your expert knife skills. Cut the chicken in strips. Combine the zucchini and chicken in a medium salad bowl, season with raspberry vinegar and walnut oil, toss to coat, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour (or up to a day) before serving.

  • Véronique

    Mmmm, this salad sounds delicious! A light & refreshing appetizer for the summer!
    By the way: JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE CLOTILDE! It’s never to late…!

  • Dearest Clotilde!

    Happy belated birthday!

    Thank you for this recipe. The heat wave in New York has finally broken, and I can think about food now, instead of Ice Cube Soup. :-)

  • Ann/brighidsdaughter

    Hooray for raw zucchini! Agreed, it should have more of the spotlight. I make a salad of raw zucchini, jicama, and orange with citrus-cilantro vinaigrette. Now I want to try it with chicken tossed in. Yum.

  • Theresa

    Love your saucy reference to Powell’s column. Somehow you manage to write delightful pieces, create delicious recipes, work a day job, and still stay so appropriately au courant on nytimes.com! I’m looking forward to making this incredibly fresh-looking salad.

    A very happy belated 26th birthday to a true renaissance woman who brings so much joy to her readers every week!

  • This looks great clotilde, Yum!
    I love raw zucchini too! *grin*

  • Karen

    Sorry, was that olive oil or walnut oi?

  • Karen – I used walnut oil, but if you don’t have it, olive oil is fine. Thanks for catching this!

  • Stacey

    Your piece reminded me of this poem by Marge Piercy:

    Attack of the Squash People

    And thus the people every year
    in the valley of humid July
    did sacrifice themselves
    to the long green phallic god
    and eat and eat and eat.
    They’re coming, they’re on us,
    the long striped gourds, the silky
    babies, the hairy adolescents,
    the lumpy vast adults
    like the trunks of green elephants.
    Recite fifty zucchini recipes!

    Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;
    sauté with olive oil and cumin,
    tomatoes, onion; frittata;
    casserole of lamb; baked
    topped with cheese; marinated;
    stuffed; stewed; driven
    through the heart like a stake.

    Get rid of old friends: they too
    have gardens and full trunks.
    Look for newcomers: befriend
    them in the post office, unload
    on them and run. Stop tourists
    in the street. Take truckloads
    to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
    Beg on the highway: please
    take my zucchini, I have a crippled
    mother at home with heartburn.

    Sneak out before dawn to drop
    them in other people’s gardens,
    in baby buggies at churchdoors.
    Shot, smuggling zucchini into
    mailboxes, a federal offense.

    With a suave reptilian glitter
    you bask among your raspy
    fronds sudden and huge as
    alligators. You give and give
    too much, like summer days
    limp with heat, thunderstorms
    bursting their bags on our heads,
    as we salt and freeze and pickle
    for the too little to come.

  • This is remotely related to your post, but, during the summer, when it is too hot to use the oven, poaching is a splendid method for cooking chicken. In “Rick Bayless”s Mexican Kitchen: Recipes and Techniques of a World-Class Cuisine,” Rick Bayless provides a recipe for poaching chicken with which I have experienced success.

    In a large pot, add 8 quarts of water, a thinly sliced medium onion, a thinly sliced carrot, a chopped garlic clove, two bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of dried herbs (Mr. Bayless uses marjoram), and the backbone from the chicken, and bring to a simmer. (I throw in the chicken wingtips, also; there is no meat on them.) After 20 minutes, add the leg quarters of a three pound chicken, and simmer for 10-11 minutes. Next, add the breast quarters, and simmer for 13-14 minutes. (I add the wings at this time, also. I do not want to waste any bit of the air-chilled, organic chicken.) At the conclusion of cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let the chicken cool in the water briefly, for about 10 minutes. After removing the chicken from the pot, you can strain the poaching liquid; you now have a light stock you can use for soups or sauces, or for poaching another chicken.

    I hope Mr. Bayless does not mind that I am reprinting his recipes!

  • Mimi

    I tried it right away because I had the ingredients. For the raspberry vinegar I used white wine vinegar in which I crushed a couple of raspberries and let sit for awhile. Enjoyed!

  • renee

    Rasberries are already out of season here. Could I use a blackberry vinegar instead?
    ps I just returned from 11 days in Paris and I am longing for the french food. Do you know where I can order the chocolate for spreading on bread, other than nutella? Also the fabulous bacon I had on an open face sandwich is there anything like it here?
    missing paris already,

  • Stacey – Thanks for the cool poem!

    Pmatthewborwn – Thanks for the recipe, it sounds good!

    Renee – Raspberry vinegar comes in a bottle and is available year-round from some specialty gourmet stores. You could use another kind of berry vinegar instead, or crush some blackberries in a good quality white or red wine vinegar like Mimi suggested.

  • C

    Mmm – that looks delicious. I’m going to keep an eye out for raspberry vinegar whil shopping today :-)

  • isabelle

    raw zucchini lovers will certainly also like the way I prepare them on hot summer days: finely grate the zucchinis (grated carrots style) add a bunch of fresh basil, roasted pinenuts and olive oil to taste. cover and refrigerate for half an hour (not more or they will render water) add salt at the very last minute

  • Bob

    mmmm… salad smells good. poem nice too :)

  • bliz

    I made salsa verde last night for a fish i was preparing, and i wanted to use the sauce for a light veggie salad. I shredded a raw zucchini, added one large, ripe tomato, half a red onion finely chopped, and topped with a few tablespoons of salsa verde (that i made blending 1 c. fresh italian parsley, 1/2 c. olive oil, 2 tbsp. capers, juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime, 1/3 cup green onions, 2 tbsp fresh basil, and salt & pepper to taste). i have to say it was pretty great! i had never eaten zucchini this way before. YUM

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