Still on cooking done last weekend--I was on a kitchen frenzy. There was leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge, and I bought some read-to-eat hard-boiled eggs. I'm not a big fan of fennel, but I did get a bulb and add some to the dish--enough to get a little hint of it, but no big anise-y bites. With the shortcuts on the chicken and egg, I spent the effort on the aioli.
Homemade mayo is a trip down memory lane for me--growing up, my mother always made our mayonnaise, which she blamed on my father not tolerating the store-bought stuff. I have a memory of my elementary school cafeteria with these bowls of a stiff, almost jellied white substance that smelled a little like pickles, and having to be told that it was mayo.
Mother used a blender to make mayonnaise, and that's how I learned--egg, lemon juice, and salt in the container with a little oil (no vinegar), then start the blender and pour the rest of the oil in slowly. Voila, mayo! I think she moved to the food processor for a while, or maybe the household mayonnaise consumption dropped to the point that she went to the long-lived commercial stuff before the Cuisinart came into the house.
With that background, I wasn't up for making aioli by hand. I have a blender (not much used), and a Cuisinart, but this was just a half cup of oil...so I decided to try my stick blender. It was a snap--much faster than a big blender, and the only drawback was a film of oil that was on the top of the blade housing that didn't get emulsified. I think perhaps I'll quit keeping a jar of mayo around and just make small batches fresh when i need some--which isn't often these days.
Back to the salad: with the aioli made (with all lemon juice, no vinegar), it was just a matter of mixing the chopped chicken and egg, some fennel bulb and greens, chives from the garden, seasoning, and some aioli to bind it all together. Typo alert: the recipe fails to tell you to add the chopped hard-boiled egg to the chicken and fennel mixture, but that's easily figured out. I skipped the toast and put a mound on some nice crisp leaf lettuce to serve.