Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Basic Chicken Salad

Copyright 2008 by Cooking With The Single Guy

6-8 oz. chicken meat (about 2 chicken breasts or half a roasted chicken)
¾ cup celery (2 stalks), finely diced
¾ cup carrots (2 carrots), finely diced
½ cup mayonnaise
1 T dijon mustard
1 t sugar
1 t champagne vinegar
salt and pepper

This recipe is great for using leftover chicken meat from a roasted chicken. But if you don’t have that, then roast two pieces of chicken breast in the over at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until cooked. Let cool and shred the meat into pieces. Add carrots and celery.

In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard, sugar and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Fold the mixture with your chicken, carrots and celery until you get the consistency you prefer. If it looks to dry, add more mayonnaise. Be sure to taste afterwards and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve as sandwiches or on a bed of lettuce.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Pair with a glass of Chardonnay.

TIP: Don’t let your cooked chicken stay out too long before putting it in the refrigerator. You don’t want any bacteria to grow. But at the same time, if you put it in the refrigerator covered, the heat can create moisture and make your salad runny. It’s all a balancing trick, you know?

CRUNCH IT UP: If you want to add texture to this basic chicken salad recipe, a lot of people throw in chopped walnuts. In the summertime, it’s nice to add fresh grapes sliced in half. Be creative!


Mrs. L said...

What's your take on using thigh meat in chicken salad? There are purists who say "only breast meat" and there are some that don't mind a bit of dark mixed in.

Chef Ben said...

Mrs L, that's funny. I never even heard of that rule! I guess now that I think about it, all the chicken salads at the stores are white meat. I'm thinking it looks nicer. But I actually mix the meat and I don't really mind it being darker. I mean, the mayonnaise whitens everything. ;-) I think those are just some of those rules of the past that really had no particular reason other than cosmetic. What I don't like is how sometimes some deli counters make chicken salad and they shred it so fine it could be mistaken for tuna salad. Yuck.