Roast Chicken with Bacon & Egg Vinaigrette over Pepper-Flaked String Beans
AS SOME OF YOU FREQUENT readers know, I am always trying to find new and exciting ways to "change up" breakfast, the meal that has for generations offered, sadly, the very least variety of the three meals of the day.

I have assumed the problem has been the paucity of "breakfast" ingredients to choose from; once you stray to far from eggs and bacon, any dish begins to lose any semblance of what is also the most traditional meal of the day.

So, yesterday morning, I wondered how to get other foods into a morning meal and have it still taste like breakfast. I decided to use chicken—ubiquitous on lunch and dinner menus—and came up with an idea to make a bacon-based dressing with some element of egg in it.

That idea evolved into a Bacon & Egg Vinaigrette, which I made by fully beating an egg, then adding to it a small bit of water, salt, fresh cracked pepper, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and the rendered fat oil from three strips of bacon, reserving some in the pan for later.

I deboned some chicken thighs (I could have used breasts, but thighs have dark meat as well, which has its own flavor properties and consequentially, doubles the taste of the chicken), seasoned them with salt, pepper, tarragon and rosemary, and placing them skin side down in a hot skillet with oil.

A let those cook in the skillet until the skins started to get a nice golden brown color going, then flipped them over in the skillet and place the skillet in the oven, preheated to 425°, to roast for another 7-10 minutes, checking the color every once in a while.

In the meantime, I stirred the egg, bacon,water and vinegar mixture in a small pot over low heat, letting it reduce a little and getting a smooth, consistent texture and color. I threw some green beans in the pan with the reserved bacon oil and tossed them over medium heat with a salt, pepper, a little bit of butter, and some red pepper flakes.

On a plate, I threw down a thin mattress of mixed arugula, arranged the cooked green beans across the leaves, with all the beans facing the same way. I took the boneless Roasted Chicken Thighs out of the oven, cutting two of the thighs into strips and placing them on top of the green beans.

I then generously spooned the bacon & egg vinaigrette over the thigh strips, beans, and arugula.

The first thing I looked for—and, probably the first thing you're curious about—was the the taste of either egg or bacon, or both. Gladly, they were both nicely represented, with enough of each ingredients flavor convincing my tongue that this indeed tasted like breakfast. An unexpected added bonus was that this crispy, slight salty chicken skin was completely evocative of biting into an actual bacon strip.

The vinaigrette also added nuance to the earthy, herbal chicken meat, brightening the meat's flavor with its hits of vinegar, as the red pepper flakes balanced the natural sweetness of the green beans and woke up the corners of my mouth, like a jolt of coffee, preparing me for the rest of my day.

The rest of the day spent at home, as I am a freelancer who works from home (an arrangement that has as many drawbacks as it does benefits). But, as many of my readers also know, I also like to "recycle" my cooking efforts into whole new meals.

So, for lunch, I reheated one of the roasted chicken thighs in the oven (you can't nuke chicken and hope to retain the skin's favorable dynamics), while I incorporated two parts mayo into a part of the vinaigrette, smearing my new bacon & egg mayo on the top and bottom halves of a sandwich bun, added the cooked bacon bits I used to make the bacon oil, and topped it with mixed arugula.

Everyone's got a boneless fried or grilled chicken sandwich. Here's my submission for a roasted chicken sandwich. (Trust me, this was a very good idea!)

Bun Apple Tea!


Roast Chicken with Bacon & Egg Vinaigrette over Pepper-Flaked String Beans