It’s wise not to underestimate chicken salad. Sure, it’s standard deli case fare, ingredients often minced, dressed in cloyingly sweet mayonnaise, then mounded into a slick plastic bowl. But chicken salad can be beautifully delicious, and has come to my rescue on many an occasion.
Chicken salad understands me. It appreciates my gustatory needs, and through the years I’ve placed many demands on my relationship with this salad. I’m willing to go that extra mile for my chicken salad, and I expect it to do the same for me.
I’ve dressed chicken salad to the nines, with exotic Asian vinaigrettes and vegetables; I’ve decked out chicken salad for the fall, accentuating poached chicken with a maple dressing bejeweled in apples and walnuts. Chicken salad also knows how to dress down. It feels right at home on a hot summer day, simply made with mayonnaise and chopped celery, then served in a tomato shell.
I’ve promised to bring a dish for a wedding shower and, once again, chicken salad is coming to my rescue. This particular recipe understands I need a main dish, yet knows it must also work overtime as a finger food. It is aware that it must look festive and elegant for this special occasion, yet deliciously irresistible to a hungry group of merry-makers.
When preparing chicken salad recipes, chicken options are many. My favorite way is to poach raw chicken, chill, then chop or slice the meat according to my needs. Grilled chicken is also delicious in salads. Pinched for time? Purchase a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and carcass, and chop the remaining meat. I’ve also seen cooked chicken, ready-to-go, in deli cases across town.
Like a little black dress, chicken salad can be dressed up or down, according to the occasion. I will always be loyal to chicken salad, preparing and serving the salad to its best advantage. I know, in turn, chicken salad will always be there for me.
Cabbage, stoic cruciferous of the vegetable world, conjures bitter cold winters, patched-together woolens, and hardscrabble times. Through the centuries, the cabbage has been a mainstay, relied upon by civilizations to nourish themselves through winter, as hunger taps the frosted panes. Dostoevsky refers to cabbage soup in various works, such as passages in “The Thief”: “….and, … Full recipe post »
Summer’s hit a rhythm, marching in sync to John Philip Sousa, swaying to the beat of bad-boy blues at Top of the Park. We bemoan the heat, but treasure the endless July sky, especially at dusk when the air cools, darkness descends, and fireflies dance to their own music. Summer, at least for me, also brings … Full recipe post »
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