A winner from Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli!
1 cup seedless red grapes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup full-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
2 large heads Belgian endive, separated into individual leaves
WALNUTS AND CHICKEN:
3 cups (1 and 1/2 pounds) solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup walnut halves
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Roast the grapes: In a small bowl, toss the grapes with the olive oil. Lay the grapes in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until they brown slightly and shrink a little, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool.
Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise sour cream, mustard, half of the lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir in the blue cheese. Taste for seasoning.
Fry the walnuts: In a deep heavy-bottomed pot over low heat, heat the shortening to 350ºF. Drop the walnuts into the shortening and fry until they are slightly darker, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel to drain. Season them with salt. Keep the shortening in the pot at 350ºF.
Fry the chicken: Put a rack on a baking sheet to hold the fried chicken after it is cooked. Season the chicken thighs with salt on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In another medium bowl, blend the flour, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper. Dip the chicken pieces, one by one, in the egg mixture and then in the flour mixture. Drop the chicken into the hot shortening. Fry the chicken pieces, turning them with a pair of metal tongs periodically until they brown on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Put them on the rack to drain, season with salt, and transfer the rack to the oven to finish cooking for a few more minutes while you assemble the salad.
Assemble the salad: Spread a few large spoonfuls of the dressing on a serving platter, and squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the leaves. Sprinkle with the walnuts and the roasted grapes. Cut each piece of fried chicken in half and arrange them over the endive. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.
Tip: Reserve any leftover dressing in an airtight container and store up to 1 month to use on salads or to spice up a sandwich!