Chicken Salad With Fennel and Charred Dates

Chicken Salad With Fennel and Charred Dates

The unlikely inspiration for this savory-sweet salad comes from Lilia, an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, where vanilla gelato is adorned with sea salt, honey, olive oil and fennel pollen for a dessert that is citrusy, creamy and fresh. The savory spin goes like this: Thinly slice two fennel bulbs, then mix with shallots and shredded cooked chicken. Dates cook in olive oil so their outsides blister and their insides become caramel-like and soft. Fennel seeds and red-pepper flakes are added to the skillet, which creates a spiced oil for dressing the salad.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large bowl, toss together the sliced fennel, shallot and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top, but don’t stir.
  2. Step 2

    In a medium (10-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the dates and cook, stirring halfway through, until blistered in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, turn off the heat, then add the fennel seeds and red-pepper flakes. Swirl until sizzling and fragrant, then immediately pour the oil and dates over the chicken. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes and lemon juice. Top with some torn fennel fronds.