Winter Chicken Salad
January 10, 2008, 7:57 pm
Filed under: in the kitchen


I should preface by saying I’ve never been big on chicken salad. I love mayonnaise as much as the next backwater gal (on bacon and tomato sandwiches, especially), but tidbits of food suspended in the stuff never sent me in ecstasies. Despite them being standard fare on the dining room table all my life, I’ve steered clear of mayo-based pasta salads, coleslaw, potato salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad.

So why I felt inspired to make chicken salad out of three boiled leg quarters, I have no idea. But I’m glad I did! Having something your way is the ultimate road to liking that thing.

I recently had a potluck party for which one attendee decided to cook his dish (chicken curry) at my house. Being a clueless dude, he put his leftover chicken in my freezer without wrapping it in any fashion whatsoever. Two days later I realized I had some freeze dried poultry I needed to rescue. I trimmed the frosty bits, then simmered it a good long while until it easily fell into chunks. The broth went into a fava bean soup, the meat went into my salad.

To my now moist and soft chicken, I added some cut up Trader Joe’s green beans that had been steamed then roasted with lemon juice several days earlier. Yay for using up leftovers! I don’t like raw celery (another minus for chicken salad) so I was looking for a green, slightly crunchy alternative. The green beans did a great job. I tossed in some capers, lightly rinsed to reduce the salt, and some scallions and fresh garlic that were sauted in olive oil for two minutes. The dressing is two parts TJ’s organic mayo to one part Napa Valley honey truffle mustard. Finishing touches were lots and lots of parsley and fresh black pepper. I’ve been eating it with whole wheat crackers and am very pleased!

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