Friday, June 27, 2014

Mom's Chicken Salad

Chicken salad might be one of the most delicious things on the planet.  I mean, what's not to love? Seriously. And, it keeps really well for a few days, so it's perfect for making a lot of over the weekend and then taking to work all week.  Because you're super healthy and frugal and you totally do that.  Yep.

There are approximately as many ways to make chicken salad as there are weird, creepy people on the orange line.  Some people put pickles or relish in theirs; I do not, that stuff is nasty.  You can do a mayo based dressing, an avocado based dressing, copy the kind from Chick-Fil-A, or make it exotic.  Seriously, SO MANY OPTIONS.

The kind that I make is fairly basic.  I got the recipe from my mom (hi mom) and she got it from the Silver Palate Cookbook (I think, the copy I have is just written on a card).  It's a little different, because it includes green grapes, dill, and pecans.  Since I can't ever manage to leave well enough along, I subbed the pecans for walnuts and the sour cream in the dressing for Greek yogurt.  And I halved the recipe, because I didn't want to eat it for the rest of my life, just a week.  I'm SUCH a rebel.

Mom's Chicken Salad:

For the Salad
2 Large Chicken Breasts, Poached (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 Cups Green Grapes, Sliced in Half (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 Cup Dill, Chopped
1/2 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Walnuts (or whatever kind of nuts you like)

For the Dressing:
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper
Potentially a few drops of milk to thin it out

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Place your chicken into a casserole dish and cover with water or part water, part chicken broth.  Cook for 30-40 minutes, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through.  A bit of the water will evaporate (science FTW), so check it, and if it looks like the tops are getting dry, flip them.

While that's happening, make the dressing.  Just mix the yogurt/sour cream with the mayo, add salt and pepper to taste.  I thought the consistency was fine as it was, but if you think it's too thick, thin it out with a little bit of milk.  I would actually make less dressing next time, because I thought it was a bit too much, but you should feel free to do whatever you want.

Then, cut up the grapes, dill, celery, and walnuts.

After the chicken is cooked (I just cut into it and see, but I hear people use meat thermometers for such things), take it out of the liquid and let it cool.  When it's cool, either chop it or shred it into bite sized pieces. I actually put it in a bowl and continue to let it cool after I cut it up, because I want to make sure it's definitely not hot anymore when I mix it with the other stuff.

Once the chicken is ready, just add everything to a bowl, top with the dressing, stir, and eat.  It definitely tastes a little better on day two, because the flavors have had a chance to really meld together.

I always tend to think that chicken salad is a pain to make, and it really isn't.  You could make it even easier by using leftover chicken, instead of preparing new, or a rotisserie from the grocery store.  I just can't have a rotisserie in my house, because Milton uses it as an excuse to try and teach himself how to open the fridge without the benefit of thumbs.  Silly pup.

I did a few lettuce wraps with this, but it's also good on toast.  Or just plain, with some sliced tomatoes on the side.

1 comment:

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