Fried Chicken with Root Vegetable Escabeche

Crispy fried chicken tops 2019 F&W Best New Chef Caroline Glover's salad made with bitter greens tossed with cilantro dressing and escabeche, or pickled vegetables. The longer the vegetables sit in the pickling liquid, the more flavorful they will be. The salad doesn't use all of the escabeche; use up the leftovers on a cheese plate, or tuck into sandwiches.

Fried Chicken with Root Vegetable Escabeche
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs



  • 2 cups white vinegar

  • 2 cups water

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 4 medium shallots, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 medium-size fresh serrano or jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 (10-ounce) bunch small carrots with tops, tops trimmed and carrots halved lengthwise (or quartered if carrots are large)

  • 3 small (2 1/2-ounce) golden beets (or 1 large beet), peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

  • 6 small (1/2-ounce) mixed radishes, halved lengthwise

Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 medium garlic clove

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • ½ cup cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons buttermilk or water

Additional Ingredients


Make the escabeche:

  1. Bring vinegar, 2 cups water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour mixture into a heatproof container, and refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  2. Place shallots, garlic, ginger, serrano, and 2 cups cooled vinegar mixture in a blender; pulse until roughly chopped and all pieces are a consistent size, 2 or 3 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large container; add carrots, beets, radishes, and remaining 2 cups vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

Make the cilantro dressing:

  1. Smash garlic clove on a cutting board using flat side of a chef's knife. Sprinkle with salt; rub salt into garlic using flat side of knife until a paste forms. Whisk together garlic paste, sour cream, cilantro, lemon zest, and cumin in a small bowl until combined. Stir in buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin out dressing to desired consistency.

  2. Toss together 4 to 6 pieces pickled carrots, 4 to 6 pieces pickled beets, and 2 to 4 pickled radishes from escabeche with bitter greens and 2 tablespoons cilantro dressing in a medium bowl, and season with salt to taste. Reserve remaining escabeche for another use. Divide half of the bitter greens mixture evenly between 2 plates; drizzle each plate with 1 tablespoon dressing. Top with remaining half of the bitter greens mixture, and drizzle each plate evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing. Top each plate with 1 fried chicken breast.

Make Ahead

Escabeche can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 months.

Suggested pairing

Lightly herby, cherry-inflected Pinot Noir: Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster

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