1 whole chicken leg (thigh and drumstick, about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoonolive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoonDried Cherry Mustardor Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard (see Game Plan note)
1/3 cup roasted, salted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cupdried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup small-dice celery (from 1 stalk)
2 tablespoons finely choppedshallot (from 1/2 of a small shallot)
1 teaspoon finely chopped freshthyme
4 to 6kaiser rolls or sandwich-sized slices of focaccia or ciabatta bread (optional)
Bibb, Boston, or iceberg lettuce(optional)
1Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Rub the chicken on both sides with the olive oil and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet to a cutting board and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
2When the chicken is ready, remove the meat from the bone, discarding the skin, cartilage, and fat. Tear the meat into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, almonds, cherries, celery, shallot, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Stir to evenly combine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.
3If serving as sandwiches, divide the chicken salad among the bread/rolls and top with lettuce.