Left/back arrow
Right/next arrow

October 23, 2015


Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

Raquel Pelzel’s cookbook “Toast” offers 50 recipes ranging from sweet to savory, easy to complex. From a simple toast prepared in just minutes with smashed tater tots, a fried egg and hot sauce, to a more involved sesame and honey-barbecue fried chicken option, the collection surprises its reader with the realization that you can put anything on toast to create a delicious meal or snack. I love that the recipes are arranged by season. Right now, as we transition between produce at the farmer’s markets, it’s a great time to follow recipes from both the summer and fall sections. Consider the crab and avocado toast (tomatillos are still available) and the hakurei turnips, poached chicken and apple butter toast by guest contributor Hugh Acheson as the weather gets colder. Try your hand at the recipe in the recipe box to the right.

Hakurei Turnips, Poached Chicken, and Apple Butter Toast

Hakurei Turnips, Poached Chicken, and Apple Butter Toast

Raquel Pelzel

Adapted from Toast: The Cookbook by Raquel Pelzel (Phaidon, $24.95, September 2015)

Georgia | Serves 4

Sweet Hakurei turnips, originally from Japan, can be found at farmers’ markets
from early spring throughout the fall. Georgia-based chef Hugh Acheson—of Five & Ten, The National, Empire State South, and The Florence—poaches chicken thighs and the turnips in chicken stock before piling them on olive oil–fried bread. Acheson sautés the turnip greens with garlic and uses them to top the toast.

Poached chicken and turnips

• 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
• ½ small yellow onion, very finely chopped
• ½ celery stalk, very finely chopped
• 1 sprig fresh thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock or broth
• 2 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
• ½ teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
• 8 small Hakurei turnips, unpeeled, greens reserved, turnips quartered


  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four ¾-inch (2 cm) thick slices pain de campagne
  • Reserved Hakurei turnip greens
  • ½ teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
  • 4 tablespoons apple butter
  • ½ cup (115 g) crumbled firm farmer cheese, quark, or cow’s milk feta
  • ¼ cup (55 g) crushed Marcona almonds
  1. Poach the chicken and turnips: In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaves, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer (the temperature of the liquid should be 180°F/85°C).
  2. Season the chicken with salt and add to the pot. Cover and poach until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool.
  3. Add the turnips to the poaching liquid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Make the toast: In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking, 2½–3 minutes. Add 2 of the bread slices and fry on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining bread.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the skillet, add the reserved turnip greens, and cook until they start to wilt, about 1 minute. Season with salt and add the poached turnips, tossing them with the greens. Remove from the heat. Pull the chicken from the bones and shred the meat, then toss with the turnips and greens to combine.
  6. Spread the apple butter on the toasts. Mound the chicken, turnip, and greens mixture on top. Sprinkle with farmer cheese and almonds.