Sunday, July 17, 2016

Are you ready for a new recipe?

I had two large chicken breasts in my freezer. I bought them for the skin! Did you know that NOBODY sells chicken skin? And I wanted to make this great recipe for crisp chicken skin with goat cheese and pomegranite seeds. So I bought four whole chicken breasts just to get the skin. LOL I'll give you that recipe later, with my adaptations. But for today, let's use up those chicken breasts! Low carb and delicious. There are a lot of details in this recipe. Those details are the difference between a nice chicken salad and a truly spectacular one. Serves 6.

So if you want, you can grab a roast chicken by the checkout at Meijers, shred it, mix some curry powder into some Miracle Whip and throw it onto the chicken. It's adequate, but if you want to wow yourself and your guests, try this.

First I thawed two chicken breasts, about 2-1/2 lbs. total weight, then put them in a foil lined pan with sides, just large enough for them to fit. (If the pan is too big, they are more apt to dry out. Just another detail to make this recipe so good.) I drizzled some organic vegetable oil over them, about a tablespoon on each, then salted well. This is the only chance to get the salt into the meat, so don't be shy! I used about a fourth tsp. on each breast.

A very necessary kitchen tool for me is an instant read thermometer. You can get them at Meijer or Target for around $8. Here's why you need that thermometer. I baked the breasts at 400º for 30 minutes, then checked the temp. One was done ("done" is 160º), the other, larger one, wasn't even close. I removed the breast that was done and put it on plate, continued cooking the other breast until it too reached 160º, which took nearly 10 more minutes. Be sure to check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast, and make sure the tip of the thermometer is not hitting bone. This is so important. Overcook and the meat is dry. Undercook and you are risking salmonella! Neither option is acceptable.

The chicken breasts need to cool until you can handle them. Pour any pan juices over them so they can be reabsorbed while the breasts are cooling. This makes for juicier chicken. Even if you are mixing it with mayo, veggies and spices, you still want each individual bite of chicken to be tender and juicy. I know, I'm going on and on, but these little differences are the things that will make a memorable dish.

By the time you are done making the dressing, the chicken will be cool enough to handle. And if it is still a little warm, I think it absorbs the dressing better. If you want to refrigerate the cooled chicken until later, though, you can delay making the final salad for up to two days.

Here are the ingredients for the dressing:
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 very thin slices of red onion from a medium onion, finely chopped (Onions have carbs, but finely chopping them will give you a nice burst of flavor from a minimal amount of onion.)
  • 3 tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 C. real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. raisins (They are full of carbs, even more than the onions have, but if you chop them, you can get a surprising amount of flavor out of just one tablespoon.)
  • 2-1/2 tsp. good curry powder
  • 1 tsp. honey (leaving out the honey will save you 1 g. carbs per serving, but . . .)
  • 3 tbsp. roughly chopped walnuts
Throw all of the dressing ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Then shred or chop the chicken and add to the dressing. If there are accumulated juices on the plate from the chicken, by all means add them to the bowl as well. That is pure flavor!

Chill for at least an hour, and serve on a chilled plate with a few cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime for squeezing. The second picture shows the salad with half of a low carb roll. Recipe later for the rolls.

Update: Here are the nutritional values for this recipe, first line for serving 6, second line for heartier servings, serving 4. For only two more carbs, you can stuff the "serves 6" amount into a low carb roll, for a total of only 6.5 carbs. It's a meal. You will be full if you eat this on the roll. The recipe for the rolls is coming. I'm still working on it. I am not getting the texture shown in the pictures, so there is something in the recipe that they are not telling us. When I figure it out, I will post the original recipe with my updates so that you are happy with the end result.

                         Carbs/ Fat/ Protein/ Calories
Six servings:     4.5    36.0     22.5     438.5
Four servings:   6.7    53.9     33.8     657.8

Bon appetit.

Recipe by Susan Siemers, from Devonshire House Dishes.

Curried Chicken Salad

Curried Chicken Salad with half a low carb roll

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