Mediterreanian Chicken Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, white part only, well rinsed and sliced
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 parsley sprigs
12 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
Salt, to taste
3 whole chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
½ cup best-quality olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup imported black olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained
8 cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
¼ pound green beans, cooked
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Measure 4 quarts of water into a large heavy pot. Add the onion, carrots, leek, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, cloves, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
2. Add the chicken breasts, return to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the chicken cool in the broth.
3. Remove the chicken (saving the broth for soup), discard the skin, and pull the meat from the bones. Tear the meat into large pieces and combine in a bowl with the olive oil and oregano. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
4. Add the remaining ingredients, toss, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Note: You may save the first two steps by using any leftover chicken dish