Monday, August 26, 2013

Chicken Salad

Someone recently asked if I posted recipes on the my blog.  I usually don't, which may seem crazy to a lot of people since my day job is teaching Culinary Arts.  However, I have to tell about my newest concoction I came up with tonight.  Well, it really is a combination of a couple nights cooking which resulted in tonight's dinner feast so let me back up.  A week ago, I tested 3 chicken recipes in preparation for a couple of classes I was going to teach the next day for teachers. The first class was on thirty minute meals or fast easy meals that they could quickly get on the table for their families without spending a ton of time in the kitchen.  I know that teachers spend the majority of their days at school and a lot of the time don't even think about dinner until they are driving home.  By that time it's just so easy - if you don't have a plan for dinner - to stop and pick something up at a drive through somewhere.  It may or may not be healthy, but it will be expensive.  The other one was on quick breakfasts to get you out of the house and that will stay with you longer (energy wise)  than those doughnuts we are all guilty of picking up on the way to school. 

Tonight I used the last of the chicken breasts to make a quick chicken salad.  (I LOVE a great chicken salad!)  I had a chicken breast that I cooked with some rosemary and plums.  It didn't look good and I won't be doing that again - the plums turned the chicken purple and didn't hold up well in the long cooking time - but the chicken did taste good.  That one goes back to the drawing board to be tweaked.   Anyway, the chicken was still good, if not pretty so I chunked it up (large chunks) and then I found a couple fruit cups in the cabinet leftover from another project (I think from February's retreat).  These were apples - which is why they were still in the cabinet - if they had been peaches, they would have been long gone, but the expiration date was still good, but just barely.  I drained them really well and threw them and the chunked chicken into a bowl.  I seasoned with a little salt and a lot of pepper.  I didn't season the chicken before I cooked it - just forgot since I was in a hurry to get them in the oven.   I pulled the mayonnaise from the fridge and realized that expiration date had already come and gone a long time ago, so I threw that away.  Mayo is not one of my favorite items so I don't use it much at all.   I only use it in making chicken salad and on BLT sandwiches.  That is it!   So, I had to go to my favorite, prime ingredient:  Blue Cheese Dressing!!  I love Naturally Fresh brand Blue Cheese Dressing and I especially love it on chicken.  Try dipping your chicken fingers in it!  I put a couple of spoonful's of the dressing in the bowl and mixed it up.  taste.  Hmm.  Needs something else.  My next favorite go to item is roasted garlic in a jar.  You know - the minced garlic in the jar you can find in the produce section of your grocery store?  If you haven't yet, try the roasted variety.  Lots and lots of flavor in that one.   Yummmm.  I put a little bit - just the tip of a regular tea spoon into the bowl to add some garlicky goodness and that was the ticket.  It was delicious.  I love experimenting with chicken salad and this one will be made again.  I may even add some celery - if I have it in the fridge - or even pecans -  the next time I make this.  Hey, I have some left over and I have pecans in the freezer - yep, they are going in there tomorrow. 

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