Rich, salty chicken confit, served with these ingredients, becomes a complete--and perfect--meal. "The watercress is spicy, endive is more bitter, oranges are sweet, avocado is creamy. There's a reason why everything is in here," says Jasinski. A 2013 James Beard Award winner for best Southwest chef and a competitor on the fifth season of Top Chef Masters, Jasinski is known for her bright, fresh cooking and for her inventive use of classic French technique. "A lot of people make salad without thinking about the balance; it should have a diversity of flavors and textures so it's fun to eat."
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup verjus* or fruity white wine, such as Riesling
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 oranges or blood oranges
1 firm-ripe avocado
1 head red or yellow Belgian endive, or 1/2 small head radicchio, leaves separated
1 bunch watercress, large stems removed. "I use watercress grown hydroponically; I like the mildly spicy flavor and that the stems are more delicate."
Make vinaigrette: In a blender, whirl marmalade and verjus together. With blender running, drizzle in oil; add salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use. "This dressing keeps for 3 weeks at least, because there's nothing in it that will change flavor, like garlic or fresh herbs or shallots."
Make salad: With a sharp knife, slice peel and pith from oranges, cut them crosswise into wheels, and remove seeds. Slice avocado and season with salt and pepper. "People don't season their salads enough. The ingredients need salt too, especially the watery ones." Toss endive and watercress with about 1/4 cup dressing.
Arrange oranges, avocados, and salad to one side of 4 rectangular plates. Set a chicken leg on each plate, next to salad. Crumble about 1 oz. of cheese onto each salad, and drizzle with about 1 tbsp. more dressing.
*Find verjus (unfermented grape juice) at well-stocked grocery stores or online.
Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, and Euclid Hall, all three in Denver