Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicken Salad

Over time, I have become somewhat of a chicken salad snob. I will no longer order the chicken salad when I'm out.  I used to. In fact, that was my go-to dish. My usual. My signature. But then I had the rather unpleasant experience of biting into a small piece of grizzle. That somewhat hard and rubbery substance that bounces back like a dime store super ball when you bite into it. Totally gross. Makes me gag.  {even writing about it makes me feel queasy} Since then, I can no longer trust another being to be diligent enough to prepare chicken salad sans grizzle.






Also: raw onions. They seem to be a favorite ingredient, and if I eat those, my husband, N, won't want to kiss me.






 And so I have started making my own onion and grizzle-free chicken salad. I usually kill two birds with one stone {no pun intended}, and start by making chicken soup. When the chicken is done, I take it out and shred it. Shredded chicken is so much better than diced. It holds together better, the flavors meld with one another nicely, and you don't need as much mayo. Also, it gives you the distinct advantage of spotting any grizzle or other unpalatable substance that may be lurking, in the meat.  But be warned: depending on how much you make {which in my case is enough to feed a small army... with tapeworms, that is} this can be a rather labor intensive chore, so make sure you have on your comfortable shoes, and some good music.






It all starts out the same: chicken and mayonnaise, but everybody has their favorite add-ins. Mine are: apples, grapes & nuts. And since I enjoy the sweeter side of things, I always squeeze an orange over the top.





This is something I love to make when we have family or friends coming to visit. I'll set a huge bowl of it out on the table accompanied by a couple loaves of crusty french bread. Gathered around a simple meal; good conversation and good friends, I find life really can be sweet.

Recipe

Shredded Chicken
mayonaise
Diced apples
diced graped
diced celery
chopped nuts (i like almonds or cashews)
juice from 1 orange
thyme
salt & pepper






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