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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Perfect Chicken Salad

I love, love, love chicken salad!  I have had some great chicken salad and some horrible chicken salad.  What I did was take all the things I love about some of the different chicken salads I have had (large chunks of chicken, dried cranberries, almonds, celery, right amount of spices and creamy) and I combined them all together.  I took what I have not liked about certain other chicken salads ( too much mayo, too much onion and chicken pieces too small and mushy) and completely omitted them.  When I brought it all together I believe I came up with the Perfect Chicken Salad!  The great thing about this chicken salad is that you can also use leftover turkey from the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday!  You can also save the chicken stock that  you make for some yummy home-made chicken noodle soup (see my recipe under "soup" index).


Poached Chicken:

*Makes 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 6-8 Chicken Breasts (with or without bone)
  • 1 gallon water
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 15 baby carrots
  • 2 celery salks cut into 3 large pieces each
  • 1 sprig of flat leaf parsley (keep on stem)
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1/2 TB salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  1. Place water and chicken broth in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley, spices, salt & pepper.  Stir well.
  3. Add chicken breasts whole into the water mixture.
  4. Simmer on high (do not boil) for about 20 minutes or so.  You can stop cooking when you check a piece of chicken and it can be shredded with a fork.
  5. With a slotted spoon take chicken breasts out of broth and one by one shred with two forks into large chunky pieces.

** The broth can be immediately used to make chicken soup or frozen for a later date.

Chicken Salad:

  • 4 cups shredded chicken or turkey
  • 3 TB. sliced almonds
  • 3 TB. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 TB. heavy cream
  • 1 TB. chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Place chicken/turkey, almonds, cranberries, mayo, heavy cream, parsley, onions, celery, tarragon, thyme, salt & pepper all in a large bowl.  Mix well until creamy.
  2. Cover and place in refridgerator for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to blend.
  3. Serve by itself with lettuce or serve with buns or bread to make chicken salad sandwiches.

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