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Old 05-30-2011, 12:54 AM   #1
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Chicken Salad Surgery

First, any ELP fans get the reference? No? Doesn't matter. Here are some fun ideas for chicken salad dips beyond the norm.

Say you've cooked a whole chicken and you have left overs. Unlike many dishes that are better the next day... in my opinion roasted chicken is not one of them. It's best eaten hot and fresh (nice and juicy, full of flavor etc.). If you put it in the fridge overnight it'll dry out a little. But that's okay because you can make a chicken salad with the left overs. Why not also get creative with it and make something different?

I look at a chicken salad as a somewhat neutral blank canvas that can be painted on with flavor. You can go gourmet, you can go Italian, Asian, Martian (ie. from another world), you can do a lot of things. Here's three.



To make any of these dips you start off taking the chicken meat and breaking it down to smaller size pieces... I usually do it with my fingers so I can control the ratio of chunks vs. almost powder sized. Then mix it with mayo to the degree of creamy you want. Maybe leave a little room for other ingredients that can also make it creamier/more moist. So you have this general chicken salad dip with no seasonings on the side in a big bowl ready to be used to make individual flavor dips with.

Then to make the Chicken Mushroom Truffle Dip which is the first one pictured in the center you sautee some cut up mushrooms. I used those baby portobellos and actually what I did here was take just the stems and scooped out the caps which I put aside to make stuffed mushrooms with later. This way I made good use of the rest of the mushroom for this dip!

So you sautee your chopped mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil and chopped onions (or green onions). When it is getting close to being done add some truffle oil to it. Then put some of your general chicken salad in a bowl and add in the sauteed mushrooms. Perhaps add a little sea salt (I didn't feel the need) and mix it up. Done! Pretty easy. The others are even easier.

For the Chicken Balsamic Garlic Dip (the one to the right in the picture) put another portion of the general chicken salad in a separate bowl and add some rich aged Balsamic Vinegar (or the best quality you can find). Not much, just maybe a teaspoon. Put another teaspoon of olive oil in it and sprinkle some garlic powder (or if you want to pan dry some minced garlic that's even better but I didn't bother this time because I wanted to make three dips quick). Mix it up and done! Tasty!

For the Asian-style Hot Sesame Chicken Dip (the one on the left of the picture) take your general chicken salad and put it in a separate bowl just like the other two. Put a squirt of Japanese red chili sauce, 4 or 5 drops of Hot Sesame/Chili Oil. Chop up one green onion and mix it all up. Done!

Grab your favorite cracker and dip in.

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:14 AM   #2
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Okay, I give ........what is ELP?

BTW. Great ideas for chicken salad.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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Great album. ELP = Emerson, Lake and Palmer
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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I knew it was something like that! It just wouldn't come to me.....kept thinking ELO!
Too many tired brain cells I guess :(
Lol! Thanks'
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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Totally disagree about
Quote:
oasted chicken is not one of them. It's best eaten hot and fresh (nice and juicy, full of flavor etc.)
To me, there's nothing better for a picnic than cold roast chicken, cut into pieces on the bone. Easy to eat, not greasy (like fried chicken) and utterly delicious. If you roast it with herbs, garlic and lemon inside, all those flavors add to the free range chick flavor and it's every bit as good cold as hot.

My 2 cents.

Just reread your post... I never think of chicken salad as a "dip." I like healthy chunks of chicken along with celery, scallions, sometimes grapes or mangos, or toasted walnuts, or pecans, lightly dressed, but all pretty chunky, and definitely eaten with a fork.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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For whatever reason I don't like chicken salad with celery and other crunchy things. It interferes with it. I know it's traditional to do that but I'm not traditional anyway. So to me I like them creamy and chewy. I don't mind big chunks of chicken in there though. Doesn't have to be a "dip" although if it's being eaten with crackers then I prefer it more like a dip. If it's in a sandwich that's a different story.

As for cold chicken the next day... well, it's not bad and I do eat it that way (although I prefer to do something creative with it and give it some zing and moisture back in). But the juices of a fresh cooked chicken to me are just on a level all its own. It's way up there for me.

I guess what I was referring to is when you cook something and it's actually BETTER the next day because it's been marinating and sitting there soaking up flavor over night. For me that works more for something with sauce or a lot of juice it can sit in. But it could just be the way I deal with a roast chicken when there's left overs. I take all the rest of the meat off the bone and put it in a tupperware container. It's pretty dry (I even take off the skin... go more lean). So in that way it's not as juicy and vibrant as the day before BUT it makes for a good open slate for adding in moisture (mayo, oils) and flavors.

Oh and btw it was Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery. (Brain Salad is not on my menu though).
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