Antisocial Smoked Chicken and Avocado Salad

Antisocial Smoked Chicken and Avocado Salad

The pariah element in this salad is the dressing which involves rather a lot of garlic. It's not a wine-killer, and roasting it first takes the edge off it, but it would still give Dracula pause for thought. The dressing is rich and creamy rather than piquant, so a rich, full-bodied white of typically lower acidity will do nicely. A Rhône white or Cape Rhône Ranger for example.

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Slice a little hat off the top of a garlic bulb and season with whole salt. Place on a square of foil and moisten with a few drops of oil. Scrunch up the foil into a parcel. Bake until soft and squidgy (about 40 minutes).

Leave to cool completely before squeezing out the pulp into a bowl. Mash with a fork and mix, to taste, with homemade mayonnaise or a good one from a jar, along with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

Line a deep bowl with leaves of Romaine, Cos, Little Gem or similar crisp lettuce. Remove and discard the skin from two (pre-cooked) smoked chicken breasts. Tear the flesh into chunks and arrange on top of the leaves. Peel, stone, halve and chunk a ripe avocado or two and add to the bowl, and immediately dollop the dressing on top.

I like to use the lettuce leaves to scoop up the chicken and avocado pieces, along with some dressing, but you could also serve this with toasted sourdough bread, spread with any remaining roasted garlic. Kiss only the people you share it with for the rest of the week!

Janet Wynne Evans

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