Smoked Chicken Spring Salad with Rye Berries and Sweet Peas

Hotel Healdsburg

25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2017
  • RECIPE BY: Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Chardonnay

It has been remarkable to see the introduction of so many grains into our menus. Rice was about the only one I cooked with in my early days as a chef. Rye berries are unusual and quite potent in flavor. I find them intriguing and will engage diners in a contest to identify the taste. This is a simple but very nourishing salad that reflects the current interest in healthy eating.

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups cooked rye berries
  • 2 cups chopped smoked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups English peas, lightly steamed
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh chives, dill or fennel fronds
  • 8 to 10 radicchio leaves (optional)


Chef's Note: To cook rye berries, first toast them in a frying pan until they begin to color and are quite fragrant, about 5 minutes. Place in cold water to cover and soak for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours; drain well. For every 1 cup of rye berries, combine them with 2 cups salted water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until very tender, about 1 hour. One cup of rye berries will yield 3 cups cooked. Feel free to substitute any cooked grain, including brown or wild rice, for the rye berries.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to blend the dressing thoroughly.

In a large bowl, combine the rye berries, chicken, peas, fennel and 2 teaspoons of the chives. Add the dressing and toss to blend completely.

Serve as is, or line a serving platter with the radicchio leaves and mound the salad in the center. Garnish with the remaining 1 teaspoon chives.

Hotel Healdsburg

25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448