French markets are pure joy for the senses: the dairy stalls with their impressive varieties of cheeses, straight from the farm and one more tempting than the next; the butchers with their thick, rustic hams and sausages enticingly dangling from above; the rainbow displays of fruits and vegetables that mirror the seasons; and of course, the stalls selling a selection of gourmet products such as jams, vinegars, olives and wine.
It’s hard to visit a French market and not leave without a whole lot of inspiration — not to mention a basket nearly bursting at the seams. Cooking and eating well are an art in France, and one of the reasons for that is the availability of excellent products.
I came up with this easy salad recipe after buying a roast chicken at the market in Duras one Monday morning. They are always so hard to resist. You’ll see them slowly roasting on a spit, and with each turn, becoming as succulent and golden as ever. That afternoon, we ate half of it with a side of potatoes (roasted directly under the chickens). Here’s what I did with the leftovers. You won’t need much to serve with this. Except a smooth glass of Merlot, of course.
- ½ a roast chicken
- 2 cans of chickpeas (400g per can)
- 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 4-5 tbsps capers
- two handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size
- juice of half a lemon
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- fleur de sel and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
Pluck the meat from the roast chicken and put it in a large bowl. Rinse the chick peas with cold running water and drain well. Put them in the bowl with the chicken. Add the parsley, spring onions, capers and cherry tomatoes. Make a dressing by whisking the lemon juice with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and stir carefully to combine. Serve, savour and swoon!