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Ever daydream about enjoying a picnic on a warm summer day in Paris? Well, we’ve got good news: you can enjoy that pleasure without stepping foot on a plane.

We asked author and expert in all things Paris, Jackie Kai Ellis, how to throw a Parisian-inspired picnic in our own backyard—and, according to Jackie, one thing you need to have is her Prune Chive Dressing.

Yes, prunes!

This simple homemade dressing will tie your entire picnic together.

Prune Chive Dressing

Serves 2 - 4

I love the juicy rotisserie chickens found at the markets and roasting outside of butcher shops all over Paris. The skins are crispy and caramelized and the scent is irresistible. Frankly, it can be eaten plain but if you’re wanting a twist, this prune and chive vinaigrette adds a bit of sweetness and acidity to the savoury chicken. The prunes in France tend to be much juicier and more tender, so if you are making this elsewhere, soak the prunes in a touch of hot water for five minutes first to replicate the same texture.

This vinaigrette is very forgiving and you can balance the flavours to your taste. If you find you want more sweetness you can simply add more honey. If you find it overly sweet for your taste, balance with more lemon juice.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 medium-sized roast chicken (about 2lbs)
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons to taste/li>
  • 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • A large spoonful of honey, to taste (about 1.5-2 tbsp)
  • A large bunch of chives
  • About 20 large prunes

  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly cracked ground black pepper

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Take the juices of the chicken and place into a bowl and put the chicken on a serving platter. Garnish the chicken with about 15 prunes and half a bunch of chives on the side.
  2. In the bowl of chicken juices, add the lemon juice, vinegar and honey and whisk with a fork until it is dissolved. Tear the other half of the chives by hand into 1-2” strands and place the bowl. Add about 5-7 prunes, also torn my hand into 6 pieces while removing the pits.
  3. Smash and muddle the mixture together using a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over the chicken, glazing it, to serve.