Yesterday it was mini croissants that we stuffed full with Betty’s curried chicken salad which has toasted, crunchy slivered and blanched almonds and lots of diced, crisp celery and Best Foods (Hellman’s) Mayonnaise. This chicken salad recipe is on my “most requested” savory items list for: shower menus, tea sandwiches, as a filling for pate choux puffs, pastry shells, crispy wonton cups or even as the filling for a papaya, halved, served as an entree. Yesterday I made a triple recipe for the host and my best friend (T.) (and soon to be grandma of twins) babies’ shower. The recipe is below the photos I just had to show you of the cutely decorated dessert table.
It was an absolutely beautiful and relaxed shower for just under 40 guests. The table settings were clever and certainly worth putting on Pinterest :-). Cool blue was the color scheme, with streaming lines of darling “doubles” of onesies and jammies strung over various tables…I think these twin boys received almost every variety of sports-themed outfits in existence. Very cute indeed. And the weather turned out to be delightful…it showered all during the baby shower (showers for the shower :-). Unusual for a So. Cal. summer afternoon (very mid-west like actually)…but T. had the entire event “covered” so it all worked out well.
This recipe is easy to make…and even easier if you choose to purchase pre-cooked chicken. And, you can prepare it a day ahead too.
Here’s how I like to do it…I cook my own chicken…bone-in, skin on half breasts or a whole chicken and use the breast meat for the salad and the rest for my soup. I sauté a mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots in extra virgin olive oil till softened), add a bay leaf or two, add chicken broth and water, salt and pepper to taste…add the raw chicken and poach for 30 – 45 minutes. Done… lift out chicken, let it cool. Then chop the needed amount for your recipe.
I am enjoying a bowl of the residual broth right now as I type this. This morning, with the leftover broth from poaching the chicken, I made a light, flavorful turkey meatball soup for our lunch. A productive use of the leftover poaching broth.
Here is the recipe…again, you can cook your own chicken, or purchase pre-cooked which most stores now carry.
Recipe: Poached Chicken Salad with Curry and Almonds
Makes approximately 48 petite filled pastry cups or pâté choux puffs.
PREP: 20 minutes to poach chicken + 10 minutes to prepare TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
1 ½ pounds chicken breast: poach or oven roast, cool then dice
1 cup celery, diced
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
Juice of ½ fresh lemon
¼ cup minced scallions
½ -1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ -1 cup high quality mayonnaise (Best Foods/Hellmann’s is my favorite and was ALWAYS Betty’s (my mom’s) choice)
The amount of mayo used is dependent on your preference for moistness of your chicken salad.
Instead of mayonnaise, you may substitute with sour cream or crème fraiche for a richer salad.
In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix with a spoon. Taste. Adjust moisture level and seasonings to your taste.
Fill pastry cups (or whatever you are using for the “holder” with filling, top with paprika, minced chives, or sprig of parsley.
I did not take photos of yesterday’s croissant sandwiches…but here are a couple somewhat blurry ones I had on file…
Enjoy… Always good washed down with a cup of freshly steeped whole leaf tea (of course) 🙂