You would think as soon as an event pops up on my calendar that requires me to cook something I know exactly what I’m going to bring, right? I WISH! My mind starts turning and I go through recipes I have made, or maybe I should try.
I recently had a new member luncheon potluck for Junior League of Washington. I was coming off of a week of travel and knew that I would be tired and my time, limited. I figured I’d make something sweet. Then, the next invitation arrived and I was assigned a main dish. Shoot. What is easy? Gazpacho? No. No red sauce allowed in the house. Tomato and caprese? No that’s like a side dish, and red. What do a bunch of women want to eat in the afternoon amidst the summer humidity? What can I make that I can actually eat? I knew my clean pickings would be slim so I had to do it right. Plus, if it didn’t go over well, I didn’t want to be left with something I wouldn’t want to eat at home. Oh the struggle.
Something light. Salad. No, that’s a side dish. And so hard to eat while standing and chatting. Oh! But I can make chicken salad! I quickly remembered this great chicken salad recipe I developed a few years ago that is truly guilt free and salt free! While I’m not super opposed to mayo (I am never able to sub-Greek yogurt for-mayo since I don’t do much dairy) the original didn’t include mayo and I knew a mayo version wouldn’t go over well while wearing sundresses. Yes! That is it! I could make a few lettuce wraps and a few in cups. PERF.
Well, it ended up being a hit. It was the perfect make ahead because the flavors melded well once it sat in the refrigerator and chill. Which was something I needed to do, and did, when I finished—chill.
Recipe Report Card:
Amount of Pantry Staples Used: C
Stud approved: B-
Taste profile: A
Final grade: A-
Everybody Wins Chicken Salad
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup green onions, chopped (may use some white parts)
¾ cup celery, diced
2 apples, diced, and tossed in lemon juice
1, 5 oz bag of Craisins or other dried sweet fruit
½ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbl raspberry vinegar
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
½ c. EVOO
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbl tarragon
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
2 tbl Dijon
½ tsp pepper
1 large bowl
1 medium bowl
Place large bowl into freezer. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and drop into boiling water. Poach the chicken until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Drain. Remove large bowl from freezer and add chicken. Place in fridge until cooled down.
Meanwhile, make dressing: Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Reserve ¼ cup.
Remove chicken from fridge. Add celery, apples, craisins, and green onions (if making a day ahead skip the onions, you don’t want them to get soggy). Add dressing to the bowl, stir to combine.
Make ahead options:
1. If making a day ahead, do not add the green onions.
1. To make this even more filling, add cold cooked quinoa!
2. Whatever dressing you have leftover, marinate chicken breast and then grill.