I got this idea for a salad from a chain called Tender Greens that has an outlet near my friend Alex’s place (and my old place) in West Hollywood. They call it the Southern Fried Chicken salad and their version includes bite-sized pieces of battered white meat, romaine and butter lettuce, cucumber, and a creamy dill dressing. My variation skips cukes and uses artichoke hearts (still on sale at CVS!) but the essence remains the same.
Somebody has to put fried chicken in salad to get me to eat it. Yes, I admit I’m not an enthusiastic salad-eater, but in this era of pre-washed bags of lettuce, my excuses have run out. I tend to overdress my salads, rendering the greens more of a garnish, so take that into account when doing your own proportions.
The other reason for this salad? I had leftover chicken strips from KFC and it felt nifty and clever to redeem them by tossing them into a salad. But butter lettuce, dill dressing, and fried chicken are just a brilliant combination for which I can’t take credit. Find a Tender Greens near you. I wish there were one near me.
A word on rewriting: While writing in general is a solitary profession, I couldn’t do it without the help of my excellent writing partners. These are skilled writers who read my stuff while I read theirs, give me detailed notes, encouragement, and in the case of one saintly woman, copy edits. If this book takes off, I will owe Diane a vacation home in the South of France.
Have other writers help you. Not only is there no shame in it, I’m not sure good writing is possible without the contributions of other professionals. Or maybe it is possible, but just 1000% more difficult. Having friends and relatives read your stuff is nice, but it’s not a substitute. Where do you find writing partners? I haven’t had a ton of luck with Meetup groups — someone always seemed to be trying to sell something. I have found better writers by taking paid classes and keeping in touch with like-minded fellow students. Try it. You might get really fortunate and find someone like Diane. Thanks to her, this rewrite will be done almost as quickly as I ate this salad.
Fried Chicken Salad (inspired by Tender Greens)
3 or 4 chicken strips (fry your own if you are so inclined)
2 or 3 cups of washed and dried butter lettuce
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (in water, not marinade)
1 or 2 teaspoons of dill weed (dried or fresh)
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of yogurt or sour cream (I used lactose-free yogurt)
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 hard boiled egg (peeled)
Put the dressing ingredients in the bottom of a salad bowl. Mix well. Slice artichokes, chicken, and egg into bite-sized pieces. Add lettuce to dressing and toss. Put chicken, artichokes and egg on top and serve.