CHICKEN WITH CURRY DRESSING AND SAFFRON RICE

1 whole cooked chicken, 4 pounds 3 tablespoons lemon juice 3/4 cup salad oil 1 pound cherry tomatoes 1-2 teaspoons paprika CURRY DRESSING: 1 small onion 6 tablespoons salad oil 1 tablespoon curry powder 1/4 cup tomato juice 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons apricot jam 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 cup cottage cheese Salt and pepper to taste SAFFRON RICE: Salad Saffron 2 1/2 cups water 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice 3 celery stalks

To make the saffron rice, put a large pinch of saffron and a pinch of salt in large saucepan with water. Bring to boil, simmer 2 minutes. Stir rice into water, bring back to boil. Cover; simmer until tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir, taste for seasoning. Set aside.

Make curry dressing by finely chopping onion. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until soft but not brown, stirring occasionally. Add curry powder.

Cook gently 2 minutes. Add tomato juice, vinegar; simmer until reduced by half. Stir in apricot jam. Let mixture cool then blend in food processor until mixture is smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Add lemon juice, cottage cheese. Blend until smooth. With blades turning, add remaining oil slowly. Taste for seasoning.

To prepare chicken, remove cooked meat. Shred to make 3 cups. (See 'Toque tips,' far left.)

Trim and thinly slice celery. Stir gently into cooled saffron rice with a fork. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Make a vinaigrette dressing: Put lemon juice, salt, and pepper in small bowl; whisk to combine. Add oil in thin stream, whisking constantly so dressing thickens slightly. Pour three-quarters of dressing onto rice; toss gently with 2 forks.

In 2 batches, immerse tomatoes in a colander in boiling water 8 to 10 seconds. Drain and peel. Mix with reserved vinaigrette dressing.

To serve: Toss shredded chicken with half the curry dressing. Pile saffron rice salad in center of platter. Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle with paprika; add tomatoes. Serve remaining dressing separately.

Serves 4 to 6.

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