Grilled Chicken Salad with Cornichon Dressing

A salad situation that is so tasty and so perfect for all of the summer nights to come: grilled chicken salad with cornichon dressing.

Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

I just recently watched Molly Baz make her grilled chicken sandwich for Bon Appetit, and could not stop craving the flavors all week long. Whenever I sat down to brainstorm what new recipes I wanted to create, her sandwich came to mind. It’s described on the site as having “deeply charred mustardy chicken thighs” and the sauce she made is tangy, briny, and all things perfectly complementary for the rich chicken.

I needed it. But I didn’t quite want a sandwich. And so, this grilled chicken salad was born. I added and removed some things here and there. And obviously turned it into a salad. But, that addictively good sounding flavor profile remains.

Grilled Chicken Salad

I made this grilled chicken salad with thoughts of entertaining in mind. It’s not tossed (even though you very well could toss it) and all of the components are definitely on the larger side. I loved the idea of everyone coming to the table and serving themselves from the salad bowl…taking just what they personally like and leaving anything they didn’t. Keeping things in big pieces make it really interactive and fun to eat, too.

As a quick rundown…we’ve got the grilled chicken thighs, grilled ramps (you could use green onions here), a crisp mixture of fennel and radishes, romaine lettuce, charred bread, some cheese, and a perfectly seasoned creamy cornichon dressing.

I can’t wait for you to try it! Can you just imagine eating this outside on a warm night with this strawberry galette for dessert?…


Grilled Chicken Salad with Cornichon Dressing

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a grilled chicken salad with fennel, radishes, grilled ramps, charred bread, cheese, and a cornichon dressing

serves: 4-6

  • Author: Kayla Howey; recipe inspired by Molly Baz's grilled chicken sandwich from Bon Appetit


  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ cup thinly sliced cornichons
  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (you can use breasts or a mix if you’d like)
  • 1 bunch ramps (or green onions), ends trimmed
  • 4 thick slices of crusty bread
  • 3 romaine hearts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly shaved (reserve the fennel fronds)
  • 6 radishes, thinly shaved
  • 6 oz manchego or other hard cheese, cut into pieces


  1. Preheat the grill over med-high heat.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, pepper, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until incorporated.
  3. Pour out ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a separate bowl. Whisk in the mayonnaise and stir in the cornichons. Set aside.
  4. Add the chicken to the large bowl with the remaining mixture. Coat well. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature to marinate.
  5. Thinly slice two of the ramps. Set aside. Coat the remaining ramps in olive oil. Grill for just a minute or two until slightly charred and tender. Rub the slice of bread with a good coating of olive oil. Grill the bread for just a minute or two until slightly charred and golden. Cut the bread in half.
  6. Drain off some of the chicken marinade. Place the chicken onto the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes until slightly charred. Flip the chicken and continue cooking until fully cooked through, just about 4-5 minutes longer (cooking time will vary based on the thickness of you chicken). Cut each piece of chicken in half or thirds if larger.
  7. Combine the raw sliced ramps, shaved fennel, shaved radishes, and a handful of fennel fronds. Toss well.
  8. Assemble the salad in a rustic, “entrée salad” manner. Lay the romaine out into a large serving bowl with the grilled ramps over top. Place the charred bread on one side and chicken on the other. Mound the fennel mixture and cheese in the middle. Drizzle the cornichon dressing over top. Garnish with more fennel fronds and black pepper.
  9. Place serving utensils right in the bowl so everyone can grab a little of everything. Serve with the extra dressing on the side.

Grilled Chicken Salad

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