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Chicken with Tonnato Mayonnaise and Fresh Spring Greens

  • Author: Valerie Harrison, inspired by The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Once the warm weather hits this silken, briny, creamy tuna sauce is an addictive addition to our summer repertoire.



For Poached Chicken

  • 2 cups fresh chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 slices lemons
  • 810 black peppercorns
  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1 pound 5 ounces)

For Salad

  • 3 cups mixed torn greens (romaine, red leaf lettuce, radicchio, and arugula)
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 12 ounces smoked or fresh mozzarella cheese, julienned
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium-size red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup Niçoise olives, pitted and sliced
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, cut into julienne
  • 1 pound asparagus or broccoli florets, blanched
  • Capers and chopped parsley for garnish

For Tuna Mayonnaise

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 can (6 1/2 ounces) tuna packed in oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Prepare the chicken in the morning. Pour the broth and wine in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the onion, celery, bay leaf, lemon and peppercorns and simmer 5 minutes. Carefully lower the chicken breasts into the broth in a single layer, adding some boiling water, if needed, to cover them. Bring back to a boil, then turn the heat right down and simmer very slowly for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pan, and allow the chicken to cool in the broth. (This will take about 4-5 hours.).
  2. Make the Tuna Mayonnaise
  3. After many hours, remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and cut into thin slices.
  4. Toss the greens with 2 of the sliced scallions in a large glass bowl. Add fresh tomatoes, basil, red onion, prosciutto and asparagus and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place salad on large platter. Scatter juliened cheese slices, prosciutto and olives. In the centre of the platter lay a layer of the thinly sliced poached chicken. On top of chicken place a thick layer of tuna mayonnaise wgich is the tonnato portion of this salad. Over the tonnato sprinkle capers and chopped parsley. Over the entire salad grate the hard boiled eggs.
  6. Use 2 large salad spoons to serve the salad and enjoy!!!!

Tuna Mayonnaise

  1. Process the yolks, anchovies, capers, lemon juice, mustard, and parsley in a food processor fitted with the steel blade for 15seconds. With the machine running, pour the oils in a steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Flake the tuna and add it with its oil to the mayonnaise. Process until thoroughly blended.
  3. Scrape into a small bowl, fold in the sour cream, and taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate covered until ready to use.
  4. Makes about 3 cups.
  • Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
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