Basic Chicken Salad Serves 4
- 4 c. roasted chicken (OR any kind of cooked, including canned)
- 1/2 c. chicken broth (from the cooked chicken)
- 1 tbs. white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 1 c. each small chopped (not diced) celery, sweet pepper, purple onion
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c. good mayonnaise (homemade or premium brand jarred)
Chop chicken into medium chunks, taking care to remove all bone and cartilage (if canned, try not to break up too small.)
Place chicken, with other ingredients in a large bowl, and toss gently together until all is nicely coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preparing this chicken salad in bulk, withholding the mayo and freezing in use-sized portions works as a “prep ahead” process to make a quick and easy meals. Adding the mayonnaise just before serving when turning the prep ahead ingredients into the meal keeps it fresh and delicious while making an organized immediate meal.
I often use 2 whole roasted chickens and put all the ingredients together (except the mayonnaise). I then portion the resulting ingredients into 8 – 5 cup portions. I reserve 1 portion in a medium sized bowl for immediate use, placing the remaining portions into heavy-duty freezer bags for storage in the freezer. When needed, I thaw the frozen product, add the mayonnaise and finish the dish in one of the following ways. What’s for Dinner? YUM!
- 2-1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 4 tbs. grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/4 c. (20 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter (cut in cubes)
- 2/3 cup cold sour cream
- Ice water (small amounts added as and if necessary to make dough)
- Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor three times to combine.
- Add butter cubes and whirl until mix resembles coarse corn meal.
- Add sour cream and pulse just until mix begins to form a ball, if necessary, adding ice water 1/4 tsp. at a time.
- Turn mix onto a plastic wrap sheet and press together into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for a “rest” of at least 1/2 an hour.
- Divide into 4 equal pieces and roll into 8″ circles.
1. Tarte de Poulet pour la Main – Chicken Hand Pies
For this chicken salad recipe you need little more than a pie crust to turn what would be an ordinary chicken salad sandwich into the entree for a lovely, elegant meal. I make my own pie crust most of the time and have included the recipe for this dish in the above paragraph. Refrigerated rolled pie crusts from the supermarket would be absolutely fine or use your own favorite pie crust recipe. bon appétit!
For Tarte de Poulet pour la Main:
- 3 c. Basic chicken salad (mayonnaise included)
- 1 tbs. dried Herbs d’Provence, crushed to release oils
- 1 tbs. fresh thyme, diced (stems removed)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (additional 2 tbs. for brushing finished pastry)
- 1/2 c. each petite peas and carrot cubes
- 1 c. small potatoes, thinly sliced
- Mix the above ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl
- Prepare the pie crusts
- 4-8″ pie crusts (from the recipe included (see above) or two refrigerated crusts divided in half and rerolled to 8″ circles.)
Fill the pie crusts:
- Place chicken filling on 1 side only (toward the center)of pastry circle.
- Fold second side over the filling and seal edges(brush the edges with heavy cream and press together; crimp with a fork for decoration if desired).
- Using a fork, poke vent holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape while cooking.
Finish the dish:
Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with Parmesan, Coarse Salt and Herb Crumbles
- 2 tbs. grated parmesan + 1 tsp. coarse salt and a bit of crushed Herbs d’Provence for sprinkle over pastry b/4 baking.
Bake for 25 minutes (or until pastry in golden brown) Cool for 5 minutes before serving with a lovely side salad made with radishes or baby arugula and green olives tossed with a light vinaigrette. Add fresh fruit with a dollop of Creme fraîche for dessert.
Wine: Chardonnay or Pinot Gris = Chalk Hills- CA, Beringer Private Reserve, Napa Valley / Firesteed Pinot Noir, OR)
- 2. Caserole de pollo Suiza – Chicken & Cheese Tortilla Casserole
A quicker, easier dinner than #1, one with a Mexican flair, is achieved in this dish. Starting with the basic chicken salad, thawed from your frozen prep-ahead ingredients, add the mayonnaise, queso fresco and chopped jalapeño and in one quick stir you’re on your way to dinner in 25 minutes.
The rest of the ingredients for this recipe are supermarket/pantry staples and set you up for a delicious dinner that is not only everyday-available but a deliciously quick company dinner as well.
- 5 c. chicken salad
- 8 oz. shredded queso fresco
- 1 tbs. diced pickled Jalapeño peppers
- 1 tbs. diced fresh Jalapeño peppers
- 1/4 c. olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
- 8 -8″ Corn Tortillas
- Lay tortillas out on a baking sheet and brush both sides with oil
- Place 3/4 c. filling down the middle of each tortilla and roll over filling
- Place, seam side down, in a deep sided casserole dish.
- Cover with Salsa Crema (recipe follows)
- 1/2 c. half & half
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 c. green salsa
- 1/2 sour cream
- 1 tbs. diced pickled Jalapeño peppers
4. cont. Whisk the listed ingredients together and pour over the filled tortillas.
5. Cover with foil and heat in 350°F oven for 20 – 25 minutes until heated through.
- 8 0z. shredded Colby-Jack Cheese
- 3 tbs. chopped cilantro
Basic chicken salad with the addition of grated queso fresco cheese and diced pickled jalapeño pepper rolled in corn tortillas and covered with a light salsa crema topped with Colby-Monterey jack cheeses (or your favorite), and heated in the oven until bubbly. Serve with black beans and pico de gallo salsa. Wine: Riesling (Columbia Crest Reserve, WA, Chenin Blanc – Beringer, CA) for everyday or step up the wine quality to one of either of these vintner’s Winemaker’s Reserves of their Rieslings or a Chenin Blanc.
3. Wine Country Chicken Salad on Raisin Crepes
Seedless grapes and pistachios added to basic chicken salad is two of the three additions to create this sophisticated dish. The third is smokey chocolate syrup and is all dressed up for a totally elegant dinner filling for Raisin Crepes. This entree is so deliciously perfect, it needs little but plain accompaniments and good wine to make it Royal fare.
- 6 c. basic chicken salad (mayonnaise included)
- 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup (bottled or homemade)
- 1/2 tsp. liquid hickory smoke
Add liquid smoke to chocolate syrup and stir into mayonnaise before mixing with chicken salad basics. Then add:
- 1 c. seedless green grapes, halved
- 1 c. seedless red grapes, halved
Carefully stir in the grapes so as not to damage or break up the grape halves. Refrigerate until ready to use as filling.
- 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. fine raisin bread crumbs*
- 1/2 c. graham flour
- 4 whole eggs
- 6 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 c. minced raisins
- 2 c. water
*Lightly toast 3+ slices of raisin bread to slightly dry the surface of the bread. Cut into cubes then run in a food processor until contents of processor bowl are fine crumbs (the size of coarse meal)
Mix all ingredients together (adding additional water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Batter should thin but not without body.) Batter should be allowed rest at least an hour, up to 24 hours (refrigerated) before cooking.
Crepes may be cooked, cooled and stored for up to 3 days under refrigeration. Frozen in airtight wrap for up to 2 weeks.
Custard Sauce (Optional)
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature, beaten
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
- 1- 2/3 c. scalded (not boiled) whole milk
- 1 tsp. Amaretto (or vanilla)
- 1 tbsp. chopped mint
- In a heavy mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until light yellow, add sugar and salt and nutmeg
- Heat milk to scalding (200°F)
- While whipping egg yolks with a whisk add about 1/2 c. of the scalding liquid slowly to temper eggs then add mixture to balance of hot milk.
- Return to medium heat and continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens (coats a spoon)
- Add Amaretto (vanilla) and cool slightly or completely for drizzling over crepes.
- Sprinkle with chopped mint and s few sliced grapes or raisins for garnish if desired.
A second option is making this filling for High-Tea Sandwiches, the main item on the Lazysusan with other tea accouterment. Spread between crustless raisin bread then cut into triangles, this chicken salad will become an immediate favorite tea sandwich.
Wine: A great Beaujolais-Gamay or Oregon Pinot Noir (Erath, Ponzi, Sokol Blosser, Willamette)
4. Chicken Lasagna Rolls Toscana
- 10 lasagna noodles (regular or whole wheat)
- 3 quarts boiling water
Lay dry noodles out in offset layers in a deep roasting pan. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil and pour over noodles moving them around with tongs for the first few minutes to keep them sticking together.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 fennel ribs, washed and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 tbs. olive oil + more for drizzle
Sauté fennel, onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, set aside to cool then mix together with following ingredients.
- 2 cups basic chicken salad (dressed with mayonnaise)
- 1 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 beaten extra large egg
- 1 c. shredded fresh spinach (frozen, squeezed dry okay)
Lay partially softened noodles out on a baking sheet and place a generous 1/2 c. filling on each noodle and distribute along the center of each noodle, finally rolling the noodle into a neat, little square package. Place filled noodle in a buttered square baking dish. Repeat process until all noodles have been filled and rolled.
- 1 cup garlic crouton crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- 18 oz. jar plain Marinara
Cover with 18 0z. marinara from a jar. Sprinkle grated parmigiano reggiano and garlic crouton crumbs over the top of lasagne rolls. Drizzle with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, the fruiter the better, and bake in 350° F oven for 35 minutes or until bubbly hot and topping is golden brown.
Serve with a baby arugula salad and a nice full body red like Castello di Gabbiano Alleanza 2005 or your favorite Chianti or Zinfandel – <Imported or domestic> (Budget Wise:7 Deadly Zins, CA., Twisted Vines Old Vine Zin, CA , Francis Ford Coppola Claret, CA., Red Lily Tempranillo, Medford, OR.
5. Chicken Biscuit Amandine (Almondine)
Biscuit Dough with Almonds then Baked Stuffed with Chicken Salad.
- 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tbsp. b aking powder (use one without aluminum)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 c. sliced almonds
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, very cold
- 3/4 c. buttermilk (approx)
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
- Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal. Using a food processor, pulse a few times until texture is achieved.
- Add almonds and pulse 2 more times.
- Add the buttermilk, cream and mix until barely combined.
- It should be wet. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
- Gently PAT (DO NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick then fold the dough about 5 times, repeating the gentle pat of dough to 1/2 – 3/8 inch thick.
- Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
- You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more.
- Place half of the biscuits on a cookie sheet
- Spoon a rounded tbsp. chicken salad in center of biscuit.
- Brush the edges of the biscuit with cream and top with second biscuit, pinching the edges together.
- Bake 12 – 14 minutes for the biscuits that are a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
Serve with an Iceburg Lettuce Wedge Salad with Bacon Ranch Dressing, and a fruity domestic Chenin Blanc.
6. Kapalua Chicken Salad Boats
- 5 c. chicken salad (dressed)
- 1 tbsp. diced fresh Jalapeño peppers
- 1 tbsp. curry
- 18 baby romaine leaves, washed, dried and separated onto a large serving platter
- 1 c. mango, diced
- 1 c. papaya, diced
2 c. fresh pineapple, cubed
- 1 c. chopped macadamia nuts
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise whipped together with
- 2 tbsp. fresh pineapple juice
- 1/2 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 cup black poppy seeds, optional
Toss the chicken salad, first with the Jalapeño pepper and curry, then with the fruit and nuts. Divide evenly between the lettuce “boats” and top with a drizzle pineapple/curry mayonnaise sauce and sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
Perfectly complimented by *Spicy Green Beans (*Add Asian Hot Oil, Soy Sauce and Almond finely diced crumbs) to stir fried whole green beans, and a side of brown rice.
Pierre Sparr Selection Riesling (Alsace, France $ ) or your favorite Riesling.
7. Dill Cucumber Chicken Salad with Greek Ranch Dressing
- 4 oz. plain greek yogurt
- 1 med. clove of crushed garlic
- 1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Place yogurt, garlic, Italian dressing and mayo in a salad serving bowl and blend till smooth.
- 3 c. torn baby romaine
- Add lettuce, cucumber, shallots, olives and 1/2 the dill and toss to coat.
- Portion dressed salad to plates and top with chicken salad and sprinkle with the remainder of the chopped dill.
- 2 c. seeded cucumber, cubed
- 1/2 c. sliced shallot
- 1/2 c. black greek olives
- 1/2 c. green greek olives
- 1/2 c. cubed feta cheese
- 1/2 c. halved mini tomatoes
- 1/2 c. diced fresh dill
- 5 c. chicken salad (dressed)
Serve with peta bread, thick slices of cold ham. Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve (Alsace. France $) or your favorite Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio .