Bird’s Nest Lyonnaise

Build a Better Bird’s Nest

Chef Henry Bisson divulges the secrets that make his bird’s nest Lyonnaise the perfect salad for a delectable woodsy repast:


The Nest Julienne some good, starchy potatoes into very small strips. “Don’t rinse the strips, or you’ll wash off starch that’s needed to hold your nest together,” Henry cautions. “Lightly dusting the strips with flour will also help.” In a deep fryer, heat a generous amount of clean oil to 300 degrees. (In a pinch, you can use a big pot instead—but watch out for splashes!) Use a strainer to form the strips into a cup shape. “I use a variety of strainers to make nests of different shapes,” Henry says. Fry until crispy, and drain thoroughly. Vinaigrette For the warm bacon vinaigrette, it’s important to use high-quality bacon; Henry recommends Maxbauer Specialty Meat Market as a good local source. “Render the bacon until it’s chewy, not crispy,” Henry instructs. “The fat is what excites our palates, so you don’t want to render it all out.” Vinegar and whole-grain mustard complete the vinaigrette. Egg Heating the water to just the right temperature is the key to poaching an egg, Henry says. “You want a gentle simmer, so the water is barely bubbling and barely steaming. I also add a dash of vinegar to the water when I’m preparing eggs for this salad.” Put It All Together Toss the frisée, watercress, shaved radish and vinaigrette. Fill the bird’s nest with the dressed vegetables, and top with the poached egg. Henry notes, “Local smoked salmon or smoked trout would be a great addition to this salad.”