My mother loved a good salad and at the Lutheran pot lucks of my youth, was famous for her bean salad (a recipe I should make and post up sometime!). There’s a whole page in the notebook dedicated to variations on chicken salad. The newsprint fonts indicate that they are from different sources, but they all look quite delicious. Since the summer temperatures make me reluctant to fire up the stove, I pulled out the notebook and made up one of the recipes.
Because I’m the lone vegetarian in the house, I made mine with Trader Joe’s Chickenless chicken strips. Here’s the recipe.
Mandarin Chicken Salad
1/2 cup oil
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 (10) packages of frozen broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup of sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup of diagonally sliced green onions
1 can (11 oz) of mandarin oranges, well drained.
Combine oil, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Set aside
Cook broccoli according to directions and drain well. Drizzle 1/2 of soy mixture over broccoli and chill well.
Combine chicken, water chestnuts, green onions and oranges. Add remaining dressing and mix lightly.
Arrange broccoli around edge of large lettuce lined serving plate. Mound chicken mixture in center.
Makes 5 servings.
I deviated from the recipe in using fresh instead of frozen broccoli. With the exception of peas, I’m not a huge fan of frozen vegetables unless its something I’ve blanched and frozen. I purchased some broccoli from the local farmer’s market instead, and blanched it for a minute or two to get the nice green color and maintain some of the crunch factor.
The rest of the crew loved the chicken version and the mock chicken version was pretty tasty as well. I was surprised at how well the mock chicken took the flavors. The only change I would make its to cut back on the oil a bit, maybe to a 1/3 or a little more than a 1/3rd. Otherwise, this one, in my mom’s words is “a keeper!”.