Friday, April 29, 2011

Chicken Salads - lots of ways

I can't tell you how much we enjoy a variety of chicken salads.
We vary the chicken, we vary the salad, we vary the dressing, so we have a different chicken salad every time.  Here’s how.

Vary the chicken:
  • Chicken kebabs
  • Chicken breast, sliced lengthways in three to make three sausage shapes, marinate in 2 tablespoon hoi sin and 2 tablespoon teriyaki sauce, with 1 clove garlic and 1 teaspoon minced ginger.
  • Chicken wingettes (the drumstick portion of wings) (the rest of the chicken wing has too much fat/skin)
  • Barbeque chicken from supermarket
  • Skinless chicken thighs, cut in 3 so they look like small sausages, marinate in lime or lemon juice & zest, paprika, fresh oregano, salt and pepper, little olive oil or chilli oil.  Roast on top of 1-2 sliced onions and capsicum or sweet potato slices, with all the marinade, 180 degrees until rich coloured and juicy (30-45  mins).  (see separate recipe for capsicum dip)
  • Chicken sausages
  • Chicken breast, diced, marinated in 3 tablespoons tomato sauce, fresh basil, onion powder, paprika, 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon vinegar, marinate for an hour, stir fry or bake or grill. May be threaded onto skewers then BBQ or grill.
  • Roast whole chicken, with any salad dressing as a marinade/sauce.
  • Roasted or BBQ chicken drumsticks.
  • Poached whole small (eg 1 kilo) chicken(s) in simmering chicken broth, with onion, carrot, celery, 2-3 bay leaves, bunch fresh parsley, for 30 mins, leave to go cold. Reuse the broth for soup (may be frozen). Discard the veg and skin, bones, remove flesh and freeze for ready-to-use chicken pieces.
Salads: Make the salad with love and it will be great.
  • Green salad: variety of lettuce leaves, baby spinach leaves, some finely shredded cabbage.
  • Tossed salad with lettuce leaves, continental or Lebanese cucumber (sliced thinly or cubed), tomato in wedges, celery, grated carrot or carrot sticks, sliced red onions, few olives.
  • Fresh salsa: cubes (5mm) of tomato, cucumber, red onion, celery.
  • When tomato is expensive, I substitute an orange, peeled, segmented and each segment halved or cut into thirds.
  • Cabbage salad, finely sliced (mandolin) with vinegar-oil dressing
  • Chinese cabbage (wombok) shredded with red onion, toasted pine nuts or almonds, olive oil, 2 tablespoon ABC sweet soy sauce, 2 tablespoon vinegar, salt & pepper,
  • Store bought/prepared coleslaw salad without dressing.
  • Baby spinach leaves instead or as well as lettuce leaves.
  • Avocado, zucchini sliced thinly, sweetcorn, capsicum (raw or left over from roasting), mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, jar of fire roasted capsicums, sundried tomatoes (if using the ones in oil, use some of the oil as the dressing), etc.
The Dressing: usually oil, vinegar/citrus juice & seasoning. Try these ingredients
  • Extra virgin olive oil, sun-dried tomato flavoured oil, sesame oil (use only a few drops),
  • Lime or lemon juice, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sushi vinegar,
  • Salt and pepper, seasoned salt, paprika,
  • Or use bottled fat-free salad dressings, eg coleslaw, Italian, French, get a variety, mix them up, add a tablespoon of BBQ sauce for a little zing.
  • Add a tablespoon of chopped dry roasted almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pine nuts, etc.
  • We also like to add a tablespoon of dried goji berries (antioxidants) to a salad.
  • Fresh herbs, mint, oregano, chives, coriander, parsley, lemon thyme.

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