Chicken Waldorf Salad - updated
If we had been experiencing our normal hot summer, round about now I would be getting fed up with meat from the grill plus salad for dinner. So I threw together some favorite foods and ended up with this salad that is a variation on Waldorf Salad. I made this salad without the chicken for a client for a barbecue. Her son doesn't normally like fruit but kept eating bowls of this salad. I also made a batch for a picnic when we went to Boston for Sail 2000. We traveled in style in a limo eating this salad, fresh quiche and salad with herb vinaigrette, Finnish Pulla bread and really fudgy brownies. All washed down by champagne, courtesy of the limo service. That was a really civilized way to travel. We came straight off the cruise and into the limo without waiting and got back here in one hour. And we finished every scrap of food.
In order to cook your chicken from scratch. Put about 1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 portions) in a saucepan with hot tap water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil on the top of the stove. Turn heat down to a simmer, simmer for about 7 minutes, turn the heat off and leave the meat to cool down with the water. Of course, cooking time depends on size of the breasts as well as pansize and original temperature of meat. This results in very moist, tender meat with very little heating of the kitchen. Do check that the meat is cooked all the way through before using.
I've got a bit lazier recently. I buy about 1 lb of thick sliced turkey at the Deli and cube it, or a BBQ'd chicken and shred it. You can also cook extra plain chicken on the grill. But don't go for any marinades etc. that would fight with the salad.
Ingredients - about 4-6 portions
For Chronicle viewers, I used about 1 lb. of left over turkey breast cut up.
Method1. Mix mayo and lemon yogurt together.
2. Add diced apples and turn until well covered by dressing. Even after 24 hours I find that the apples don't discolor in this salad.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
4. I don't add the nuts unless the salad is to be served in less than 4 hours as nuts will soften and lose their crunch.
5. Note that I don't add salt or pepper as I don't find it is necessary. Add more fruit to make the chicken go further if you like. Try adding some bell peppers or dried apricots or even fresh nectarines. I found one time that the Granny Smith apples made the salad taste quite tart so I add about ½ c of slightly sweetened fresh cream. You could also use the aerosol cream or cool whip.
6. Serve with fresh bread and mixed salad for a wonderfully refreshing meal that is also special enough to be served to friends.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.