Smoky Chicken & Crunchy Fennel Salad with Raisin Vinaigrette

A new take on chicken salad - modern flavors and something to crunch besides celery!



  • 1 cup California golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (2 whole chicken breasts)
  • 2 oranges, juiced about 2/3 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fennel, thinly sliced about 1 large bulb
  • 2 tablespoons fennel greens
  • 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced


Soak raisins in sherry for about 20 minutes or overnight.  Drain and reserve 2 tablespoons of the sherry.  Combine orange juice, garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 3 tablespoons oil.  Let chicken breasts marinade in orange juice mixture 1 hour or overnight.  Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil.  Remove chicken from marinade and sauté in hot pan until browned on both sides.  Add remaining marinade to pan and finish cooking chicken.  Remove from heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Then, shred chicken. 

Combine 2 tablespoons of sherry from soaking raisins, raisin paste, vinegar, 1 tablespoon fennel greens, and 3/4 cup oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Fold chicken, raisins, sliced fennel, green onions, remaining 1 tablespoon fennel greens and dressing.

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