Sunday, June 17, 2012

Creamy Chicken Salad with Rosemary and Toasted Pine nuts

This is my take on a classic chicken-mayo salad. I came up with this recipe in a fit of frustration after having one too many cloying chicken salad sandwiches from a ubiquitous corner New York deli. Since that first batch nearly ten years ago, it’s become a steady staple, and has graced numerous tiffin boxes, impromptu luncheon buffets, as well as elegant tea parties.

It is a fairly light salad without any of the usual gumminess associated with mayo-based salads. The trick is to use about half the mayonnaise called for in most standard recipes, and to substitute the other half with extra virgin olive oil for a silky finish.

2 lbs [1 kg] boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
½ cup Pine nuts
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
¼ cup Celery, finely diced
½ cup low-fat Mayonnaise
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt (to taste)
¼ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  1. Poach chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water until cooked through, about 10–12 mins. Remove from water and set aside till cool to the touch. Cut chicken into roughly 1-inch-thick cubes and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until lightly golden, about 2–3 mins. Remove from heat and add pine nuts to bowl with chicken.
  3. Add rosemary, celery, mayonnaise, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in a fridge for at least 4 hrs to allow the flavours to incorporate. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

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© Copyright 2012 Shubhani Sarkar