Insalata di Cappone

Capon Salad

The title is a misnomer in that it is no longer possible to buy capons, and this is as true in Italy as here.

Ingredients

  • 1 × 2.5 kg poached chicken
  • 250 g pine nuts, toasted lightly
  • sea salt
  • top-quality olive oil
  • a handful of parsley leaves

For the dressing:

  • 250 ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 150 g raisins
  • zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon, in strips

Method

For the dressing put the vinegar in a pan and bring to the boil, then add the bay leaves, sugar, cinnamon, pepper, raisins and zests. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and leave over a very low heat to infuse.

Shred the chicken meat into a large bowl discarding all skin, fat and bone. This is a messy but easy job. Add the pine nuts to the chicken. Return the vinegar mix to the boil, picking out the bay leaves and cinnamon. Pour this mix over the chicken, season with sea salt, and toss thoroughly. The liquid will nearly all be absorbed by the meat. The salad can now be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days; the flavours may even be said to improve.

To serve, remove the salad from the fridge at least an hour before serving. Add olive oil to taste (about 200 ml). Add the parsley leaves and toss.

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