Chicken salad?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chloe23, May 22, 2002.

  1. chloe23

    chloe23

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    10
    This might be a dumb question but how do you cook your chicken when you make chicken salads? Do you boil them, pan fry them, or do something else to them? What is your way of making chicken salads? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,581
    Likes Received:
    530
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Simmered with various aromatics. And you must try it with a cooked/boiled dressing mixed with some mayo. Great stuff.

    Phil
     
  3. jill reichow

    jill reichow

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    10
    Simmered in broth and herbs. Tried nuking it, but it tends to get tough in spots...
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Food Editor
    Sometimes I'll just use whatever leftover chicken I have, usually roasted. But if I'm cooking fresh (cut up in pieces), I put it in chicken stock (even a decent canned brand works) with aromatics, and bring it to a boil. Then I turn off the heat and let it sit about 15 minutes. Very tender this way.
     
  5. marmalady

    marmalady

    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Ditto with Suzanne. Also hav done the "Chinese" way. Put the chicken in the pot with stock or water and aromatics, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for about 30 minutes. Tender and juicy.
     
  6. chloe23

    chloe23

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    10
    When you say aromatics, what exactly do you mean by it? I'm not quite sure what aromatics you are referring to. Is it some flavors you add to the boiling chicken like salt, peper, spices, or are you talking about something else? Another question I have is, what do you do with the chicken stock after it's used to cook the chicken? Do you discard it or use it for something else? Thanks again for everyone replies.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,581
    Likes Received:
    530
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    You're on track. It's much like stock with onions, carrots, celery and so on. Bay leaf, certainly and some pepper corns. Whatever else fits your fancy too. Garlic sometimes fits mine. I'd skip the salt just because it gives you more flexibility with the chicken and the resulting liquid.

    Phil
     
  8. suzanne

    suzanne

    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Food Editor
    I also like to add ginger (either slices of fresh or dried) and lemongrass (cut into pieces and whacked) when I cook chicken that way. Sometimes dried hot peppers, too. Sometimes parsley sprigs, sometimes cilantro. Sometimes just a little soy sauce (but Phil is right about more flexibility if you leave it unsalted.)

    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Strain and de-fat it, and you've got a lovely base for soup or sauce. Much more delicate than if you went through the whole process of stock-making, but delicious nonetheless. Quite often used as the basis for Chinese soups. I like to add some coconut milk, shredded chicken, cooked udon noodles, vegetables such as bean sprouts and/or julienne snow peas, and sliced bird chilies, for a sort of pan-Asian chicken soup. Yum -- a meal in a bowl!

    Or you can just freeze it after you've strained and de-fatted it, and then use it again in the same way (adding more flavoring ingredients, if you like). If you want to do that, though, be very careful to cool it down FAST, and boil it for a while when you re-use. And after the second use, you really shouldn't store it to use yet again. Either eat it, or discard it then.
     
  9. matthew357

    matthew357

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    10
    At one of the places I used to work at we would cook the chicken for the salad in the steamer. Relatively quick and it kept the chicken nice and moist. Of course there were some herbs tossed on them beforehand as well, but you can do just as well with the herbs added into the salad when it is being finished.

    The chicken salad we made was, in my humble opinion, the best chicken salad in the world. It was a bagel shop and we primarily sold the chicken salad in a bagel sandwhich, but we sold almost as much of it by the pound. Whenever I am back around the place I will stop in to pick up a few pounds. Heh, just thinking about it makes me want to take the hour drive there to get some...too bad they are closed right now.

    Matt
     
  10. pongi

    pongi

    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    10
    You can also use the stock to cook Risotto. Chicken stock instead of beef stock can be used if you're making something with a light taste like a vegetable Risotto. You need about 2 lbs stock to make a Risotto serving 4-5.

    Another option for your stock, if you don't use all the chicken for a salad, is Chicken in gelatine. Cut the chicken in pieces, arrange it in a deep serving dish and garnish with plenty of pickled vegetables (onions, peppers, gherkins, capers). Bring the stock to the boil, add some gelatine according to package directions, pour it on the chicken. Cool it down and refrigerate at least 4-5 hours before serving.

    Pongi
     
  11. chiffonade

    chiffonade

    Messages:
    846
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I make a chicken salad using BBQ Chicken. It was printed in Gourmet Magazine in 1998. I'm doing this from memory...all my #*@#& cooking magazines are packed.

    BBQ Chix Salad

    BBQ Chix cut off bone (I'd say 1 lb.)
    1/3 cup minced red onion
    1/3 cup minced red pepper or yellow or green pepper
    1/4 cup BBQ sauce
    1/4 cup Mayo
    S&P
    dash cumin
    2 tbsp. minced cilantro
    1 minced chipotle pepper in adobo

    Combine all ingredients. The ingredient list is short because I was specifically looking for something to do with leftover chicken from the weekend. I figured this would be something I wouldn't mind doing after braving the subway on a 90 degree Monday night.

    It goes great with tortillas as a wrap.
     
  12. cape chef

    cape chef

    Messages:
    4,508
    Likes Received:
    32
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Hi Chloe,

    Chicken salad goes way beyound poached chicken with mayo celery and onions :)

    Use your imagination and you will never cease to amaze yourself.

    Great food boiles down to excellent technique.Simmering a chicken with aromatics or a miraopoix and degreasing the fat and scum are all part and parcel to mastering a simple technique.

    Think about adding some star anise, cinnamon sticks and green cardomom pods to your poaching liquid with the aromatics, then maybe a fresh curry mayo made from egg yolks,lemon, red curry,olive oil and a little of your COOLED liquid.

    Grilled chipoltie chicken breast with a cilantro/lime aoili and a charred tomato salsa over crisp greens.

    5 spice shredded chicken with chasews, crispy snow peas and udon noodles...
    The skys the limit, think ethnic!!! you'll come up with a million ideas.
     
  13. athenaeus

    athenaeus

    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Cape Chef

    If I understood well, first you poach the chicken using many many herbs and them you use it for chicken salad.
    Right?
     
  14. cape chef

    cape chef

    Messages:
    4,508
    Likes Received:
    32
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    many,many herbs!

    Well I guess you can say that.

    I usaully stuff the cavity of the bird with carmilized aromatics, and a bouquet garni.

    The spices I refered to I bruise and float in the liquid.

    What I am trying to say Athenaues is, that I try to influience the liquid with similar ingredients that I will use in my salad.

    it's just a way of layering the flavors of your finished dish.

    If you use to many herbs though, you may find it a touch overpowering, less is best..you can always add to it later