Chicken Salad for Baby Shower

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by tia dee, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. tia dee

    tia dee

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    I will be making chicken salad for party of 50. I will using chicken breasts for the salad. I have done two test runs on new recipes and was not pleased. I will be incorporating dried cranberries and pecans into my salad. First question, should I use green onions or red onion? Secondly, I want to make night before baby shower, how to do I keep from looking dry the day of?
     
  2. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    What aspects were you not happy with?

    I poach skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or tenders) for my chicken salad.

    Cold Water, Salt, Chicken.  High heat. Depending on volume of water to quantity of chicken, by the time it comes to a boil, the chicken could be cooked, so check before it gets to that point.  Stir somewhat frequently -    especially early on - to keep the pieces from cooking together and making larger blocks.

    Shock in ice water to prevent continued cooking.  Drain and pat dry.  Dice/Chop.

    You should be able to assemble a day or 2 ahead of time with no issues - unless you try to be extremely skimpy on the mayo.

    Red onions vs. scallions is completely a personal preference issue, but with the pecans and cranberries you're using, I'd go with scallions - using the white and green.
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Green or red onion?  Neither.  Couple of problems.  Both are too strong on the breath for what's primarily a woman's event.  Stay away from anything with a tendency to promote gas.   

    Go with shallots AND chives.  Mince the shallots and chives fine.  Reserve some minced chives and a few long ones as well for garnish. 

    How to refresh?  Make the dressing with all ingredients other than the chicken, the night before.  When you mix the chicken with the dressing; under-dress slightly, reserving the remainder of the dressing.  Just before service, mix in the reserved dressing.  Garnish the rim(s) of the serving bowl(s) and top of the salad with the reserved chives. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  4. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    Scallion, chives and / or shallot and chives, wise idea. This salad is a 1953 recipe from The Jubilee or Coronation Chicken Salad served by Le Cordon Bleu for the Inauguration of Queen Elizabeth II. It is quite lovely and could be updated and served & plated visually differently ... however, it has a bit of curry, and homemade mayonnaise ...

    Have a lovely event.

    Margaux Cintrano.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If possible use chives they are milder. Cranberry and chopped pecan good combo. Try adding a littel powdered granulated garlic to chicken salads. I believe it helps the flavor. You may want to plump the raisins first (soaking them in boiling water a little while)

    There are many variations  Chinese chick salad, Indian curried style, Hawiann style, fruited style, Waldorf style and on and on. Made right they are all good.  I know many people use breast, I use breast and thigh mixed as it is not as dry. T stop fro drying out simply wrap tightly in plastic wrap, an don't put out a long time before they eat if it is buffett style
     
  6. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    Wouldn't that just give you a combination of moist thigh meat and dry breast meat?

    It's quite possible to cook white meat correctly.
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Yuo do yor way, I do mine Thats what makes America great.
     
  8. tia dee

    tia dee

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    Thanks Chef for responding,  I will try out the scallions vs. red onion!  My first chicken salad recipe called for tarragon, I didn't care for the taste! I have 2 weeks to get my chicken salad perfected! LOL
     
  9. tia dee

    tia dee

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    Great tip on how to refresh my chicken salad!  That was one of my concern's, especially because my husband 'the food critic", said it was dry!  Thanks Chef . . .
     
  10. tia dee

    tia dee

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    Thanks Margcata for the photo and history -  from "deep in the heart of texas."
     
  11. tia dee

    tia dee

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    Thanks Chef for your suggestions!  It will be Buffet style and will definitely cover with plastic wrap to preserve freshness!
     
  12. Iceman

    Iceman

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    Big LOL w/ ChefEdB.    Great suggestion BDL, I concur

     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  13. teamfat

    teamfat

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    On a side note for future reference, one can blanch onion slices to take out some of the roughness that raw onions can bring to salads.  Hmm, trying to remember, but the last time I did it I blanched for 30 - 45 seconds or so, I know it wasn't very long.

    mjb.
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    On buffet presentations of salads made with mayo, sometime a thin layer of mayo is  put on top of the salad on the presentation platter and then slightly garnished this stops air from penatrating the actual salad itself (almost like a chaud-froid topping) This is also done with potato salad,tuna, egg etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  15. tia dee

    tia dee

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    Thanks Chef for your response, I will use this technique (I looked up meaning & pronunciation

    "show-frwah") in the future!
     
  16. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chefedb  


    Yuo do yor way, I do mine Thats what makes America great.

    I was just trying to understand your method behind the madness, is all.  You implied that breast meat is dry and thigh meat is not. 
     
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

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    No matter how you cook or undercook it breast meat is more dry then thigh. Thigh meat contains a higher fat content therefor more moist. when you mix the 2 in the salad they all hit the mouth at one time therefore more moisture is present.

    Also a lot of places advertise all white meat chicken. but in fact for years the people who raise the birds have been trying to get the dark meat lighter in color and have succeeded. If you look at a Perdue bird for example the dark meat is almost white. Thighs are also less costly. Calorie wise darker meat contains more then white per ounce.
     
  18. durangojo

    durangojo

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    cooking chicken breasts so they are not not dry and tasteless certainly can be done and is done by many...poaching it or marinating it before baking, baking in a small amount of chicken stock(kinda poaching), baking at not too high a temp...all work

    no red onions, at least not raw ones.....not even scallions unless you are doing a curried chicken salad.......i agree with bdl's method for dressing...dress, and redress the next day...if you've ever made potato salad you know how the food absorbs the mayo...same thing.....and of course the flavor is better if made the day before...even a day and a half or 2...other things to add.... raisins, walnuts rather pecans, apples, celery....and perhaps a bit of sour cream added to the mayo to take the mayo-y flavor out...most women don't like mayo...i know i don't.....yogurt is a nice substitute, especially a greek yogurt.....

    joey
     
  19. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Sour cream, yogurt etc works in potato salad but most people are used to traditional chicken salad. Problem with mayo is people tend to put to much. It really is only supposed to be used as a binder to hold everything together.  Also try adding a bit of chopped chutney to your chicken salad, it adds just the right amount of counterbalance to the mayo.  Potato salad will absorb far more moisture then chicken salad.
     
  20. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    IMHO the chicken should be seasoned (salt and pepper) and coated with a generous amt of oil then roasted (leave the bone and skin on), when ready to use pull the still moist & juicy meat off the bone and skin and toss the discards into my "save for stock" freezer container.

    Long sentence, no?

    Then proceed with the salad in which ever way you have decided on.

    My personal fave is green grapes (halved) and honey roasted pecans.

    Or sliced and toasted almonds.

    The onions I soak for a bit to remove that nasty acidic flavor (prefer Texas 1015's as can skip this step).

    Simple dressing of homemade mayo with salt and pepper (generous amt fresh ground pepper) and finely chopped herb of your choice.

    I like BDL's tip about the dressing "seal", makes perfect sense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012