Fresh and Fabulous Chicken Salads

March 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS Of all the myriad preparations to which chicken so beautifully adapts, perhaps none is as simple or as popular as the salad. Chicken provides a light but flavorful foil for any number of other flavors: chicken with apples, chicken with olives, curried chicken with chutney, chicken with avocados-the combinations are endless. First you will have to begin with poached chicken, and I have added a master recipe for poaching perfect chicken that will remain moist in the salad. Let’s start cooking! Poached Chicken Breasts Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water or broth. Add salt to the water if you wish, but it is not necessary. Bring slowly to a simmer over moderately low heat. Simmer skinless, boneless breasts for 10 to 15 minutes; chicken on the bone with skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let chicken cool in liquid if you have time, or pat dry and use immediately. To keep the chicken moist and juicy, cover with cooking liquid and store in refrigerator. Use within a day or two. Bombay Salad 1 cup sour cream 1/3 cup mango chutney, such as Major Grey’s, finely chopped 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted 2 cups diced (1/2-inch) cooked chicken 1 bunch watercress, large stems removed 3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced 4 plums, sliced 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced Combine sour cream, chutney, limejuice, curry powder, 1/4 cup of the coconut, and the almonds. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with 3/4 cup of the curry dressing. Cover and refrigerate chicken mixture and remaining curry dressing separately for about 30 minutes to develop the flavors, or longer if desired. To serve, arrange watercress around the edge of the platter. Mound the chicken salad in the center. Arrange peaches, plums, and kiwi alternately around the chicken. Sprinkle remaining toasted coconut on top. Serve extra dressing on the side. Serves 4. Sante Fe Layered Salad 3 cups cooked cubed chicken 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained 1 red pepper, diced 2/3 cup thinly sliced scallions 1 cup mayonnaise 2 fresh jalapeƱo peppers, […]

What’s Cooking – Chicken Pronto

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS Quick cooking is a way of life for all of us these days. But that is no reason to cut corners on taste and quality. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts and thighs are the answer to the harried cook’s dilemma. Just a few years ago, if you wanted skinless, boneless chicken, you had to do the job yourself, a task that required the skill of a surgeon. These cuts of chicken cook in just a few minutes. In fact, overcooking is the most serious problem here. Now get moving – you have 30 minutes until dinner! Chicken Breasts with Apricot-Cherry Compote 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme 3 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries 3/4 cup chicken broth 2/3 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth Season chicken with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme. In a large frying pan, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and nearly cooked through, about 12 minutes. Add apricots, cherries and remaining thyme. Pour in broth and wine. Partially cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until fruit is nearly tender, about 3 minutes. Uncover and simmer 1 minute. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Serves 4. Chicken Amandine 1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast fillets 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2-1/2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup chopped shallots 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup chopped parsley Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once or twice, until white throughout, about 6 minutes. Remove to a platter. Add remaining butter, reduce heat to medium, and cook almonds and shallots, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove nuts and shallots and sprinkle over chicken. Add nutmeg, wine and broth to pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits clinging to the bottom. Boil, stirring occasionally, […]