This salad is great a starter, but would also make a lovely, light main dish. A quirky take on a French classic, just in time for bonfire night.
Tear the smoked chicken into large shreds. You can remove the skin if you prefer, but it will dampen down the smokiness of the whole dish. Set aside.
Peel and finely dice the banana shallots and garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from the parsley and roughly chop.
Pick the salad leaves. Discard all of the dark green leaves and then wash and spin the yellow and white leaves in a salad spinner.
Heat a frying pan until hot and add a splash of sunflower oil.
Cut the French stick into small pieces. Heat a frying pan until hot and add the croutons. Cook until crisp, remove from the heat. Place the croutons on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
Add the garlic and shallots to the pan, and fry briefly. Stir in the shredded smoked chicken and gently warm through. Mix in half of the chopped parsley. Combine with the croutons, and keep warm until needed.
Using a mandoline, cut the potatoes into a fine julienne over a bowl of cold water. The water will prevent the potatoes from turning brown, and will remove any excess starch.
Meanwhile heat the frying oil in a deep fat fryer to 180'C. if you do not have a deep fat fryer, place the oil in a deep pot: the oil is ready for frying when a bamboo skewer or a wooden spoon placed in the oil sizzles wildly.
Drain the potato matchsticks. Squeeze out any excess water, and dry with paper towels.
When the fryer oil is hot enough, drop the potatoes in small handfulls, and use tongs or a wooden spoon to stir the matchstick about: you do not want the potatoes to clump up into a pancake.
When the potatoes are golden remove from the oil, and drain on some paper towels. Season with salt.
Put the Dijon mustard in a mixing bowl with the red wine vinegar. Whisk together with the salt. Slowly add the olive oil whilst continually whisking to create a smooth dressing.
For the eggs: Break the eggs using a serrated knife and separate into small cupps or containers. Heat a frying pan over a low heat and add the sunflower oil. When the oil is warm carefully add the quail's eggs one at a time, making sure they stay separated. Cook until the white of the egg is set. Remove from the heat and season with a sprinke of sea salt.
To assemble the salad: Place the frisee in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add the warm croutons and smoked chicken. Add the dressing and use tongs to mix the salad leaves and coat them with the dressing.
Place the salad leaves in a bowl, making sure that each bowl has some smoked chicken, and croutons. Gently place the crisp matchstick potaotes on top of the salad and then finish with the fried quail's egg.
«The matchstick potatoes can be made ahead of time, and kept in an airtight container for at least a week.»