Monday, April 6, 2009

Chicken Salad with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Pine Nuts

Sorry, this is one where I can't list a real recipe. Proportions for dressings for this kind of stuff is really a personal thing, what I like might not be what you like and vice versa. Plus I have no idea how much of each thing I put in. Heh. But here is what is in it, with some estimates on how much:

cooked chicken, about 1 1/2 pounds (I braised it in chicken broth with parsley, black pepper, sage, rosemary and thyme)
caramelized onion, 3/4 of a cup before caramelizing (I'll do a how-to post on that soon)
pine nuts, no clue
a golden delicious apple, it was kind of small
fresh black pepper, lots. At least a dozen twists on a grinder
sage, maybe a half a tsp.
tarragon, maybe a 1/2 tsp
mayonnaise, quarter cup or so? Probably more.
dijon mustard, about a tsp

So, I've covered chicken salad before. But this one is not only pretty different and that was an old post that wants updating. Of course, I didn't manage to get pictures of the whole process this time. Somehow. I thought I had. But here we are. So there will probably be at least one more chicken salad post, some time in the future. Probably in the summer, to make it more topical.

I've always kept my chicken salad simple in the past, this is actually the first time I've ever put fruit in it. Or nuts. Both were quite good, I was most pleased. I don't remember when I got the idea to caramelize the onion, but that was probably my favorite part. It gave a lot of great, mellow onion flavor, plus a bit of sweetness. I usually add tarragon to chicken salad, but figured if I was adding apple I should really put some sage in there. A little bacon would have been good too...

Anyway, here is what I did. I took everything but the apples, chicken and nuts and mixed it all up. Then I peeled, cored and cut the apple and tore the chicken into bite sized chunks. I tear the chicken instead of cube it because you get more texture that way. Plus I don't have to re-dirty up my cutting board. Then I added the pine nuts. Then the dressing. And mixed it. And didn't take a picture other than the one in the ramekin and the sandwich. But I got a picture of how evenly toasted my sub roll was. That's something, right? But this was a great chicken salad, I would definitely make it again. Next time I want to use cashews instead of pine nuts, I bet that would be even better. Some prosciutto would have been nice, maybe even some melon instead of apple. A bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice or maybe some zest would add some nice brightness, especially if adding meat. Well, more experiments are clearly needed.

28 comments:

Melissa said...

Recipes always turn out the best when you have to add as much or as little as you want. Everyone has different tastes. It looks delicious!

unconfidentialcook said...

This is v. inspiring. What about chicken, pears, roquefort and cashews?

Momgateway said...

Gotta try this

tamilyn said...

I like to just mix up some chicken, apples, walnuts and put on lettuce with a little dressing I make with oil, sugar, vinegar and hot sauce. Killer. Thanks for reminding me of it Bob, I haven't done that in a while :)

Dajana said...

can we do an exchange? A piece of my strudel for your salad sandwich. I bet they'd go well together!

Bob said...

Melissa: Thanks! That's very true.

unconfidentialcook: I'm not a big roquefort fan, but if you are into it I bet that would be great!

Momgateway: Let me know how it goes if you do.

tamilyn: Heh, no sweat. ;)

Dajana: Oh man, I so wish we could! :D

tigerfish said...

Very healthy!

Zesty Cook said...

I love the flavor combination here Bob! I am all over this.

zesty

Joie de vivre said...

Pine nuts...now I bet that is really good!

noble pig said...

Oh how yummy!I love the carmelized onion addition.

Jescel said...

oh, this looks like a real good chix salad... i love the addition of apples and pinenuts in it.. you're right, things like this are really a personal thing-- we just have to learn the method, right?

Spryte said...

I don't usually like fruit in my chicken salad... but that looks really good!!!

Karen said...

Love caramelized onion and I bet the apples really give this salad a nice crunch. Looks great!

Culinary Alchemist said...

Pass one this way please...

duodishes.com said...

Nice huge chunks of apple in there too! Tuna and chicken salads always need that crunch element.

Kevin said...

That chicken salad sandwich looks good!

Reeni♥ said...

This is over the top! I love the caramelized onions and apple in it. I bet cashews would be good. Or almonds. I wish I had some now!

Dragon said...

Carmelized onions make everything better. :) Nice work.

DDpie said...

I never measure stuff for my salads either Bob. I like pecans in mine, but I'm gonna have to give those caramelized onions a try for sure.

Tangled Noodle said...

Creamy and crunchy, sweet and savory, meat and fruits - opposites are definitely very attractive in this delicious sandwich!

K said...

Fabulous sounding flavor combination. Especially the caramelized onions!

Bob said...

tigerfish: Heh, I don't know about that, what with all the mayo. But it was wicked good. ;)

Zesty: Thanks!

Joie: It was, but I think cashews would have been better.

noble pig: Thanks! They worked really well in it, I was pleased.

Jescel: Precisely. Mostly I'm just tossing out a flavor combo.

Spryte: I never did before, but this has converted me. Although I still don't know about grapes...

Karen: Thanks! The texture contrast was quite good.

Culinary Alchemist: I would if I could. Heh.

Duo: I like the crunch with chicken salad, but not with tuna. Don't know why, but I like my tuna smooth.

Kevin: Thanks!

Reeni: Thanks! I'd send you some if I had any left. ;)

Dragon: Thanks!

DDpie: Oooo, pecans would be good! Toasted ones...

Tangled Noodle: Heh, thanks. :)

K: Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Holy cow, that looks amazing!!

I'll totally have to make that for my hubby, he would love that!

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That sounds quite tasty too - you really have been making some good sandwiches!

Bob said...

Jennifer: Thanks! If you make it, let me know how it turns out. :)

JennDZ: Thanks!

Donna-FFW said...

Bob- That sounds fabulous and looks even better. Love the caramelized onions with it!

Elle said...

This looks great! I love adding fruit to my chicken salad. A favorite is pineapple and grapes. Mus make some. soon!

Danielle said...

omg dude!! you make the most awesome sandwiches!!

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