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Recipe Goes Here. A Bloggable Chicken Salad?

Is there any point in posting shit? I go back and forth on this a lot. Do my recipes need a point? My last post was about cooking my last meal in Hong Kong in my kitchen. If you are a cook, then you’ll know that the “my kitchen” part is important. Every cook wants to be dealt a good hand and being able to create in a familiar space with all your own tools is a good start.

Since my last meal, I’ve been living out of suitcase, crashing in temporary digs for a few weeks at a time. I’ve cooked since then, but nothing I’ve viewed as blog worthy. Or is it? Is there something to be said for making due, using other people’s kitchens, their nearly new pots and pans, their dull knives, their potato scrubber? Figuring out that they do not keep a regular stock of shallots, that they like to store their rice in the freezer, and that the tap needs to be twisted a little harder to the right so it doesn’t drip.

For me, all these things make a difference. It changes how I cook. What I cook. Or if I even decide to cook at all.  I maybe don’t realise it at the time, but cooking becomes my way of creating some sort of familiarity and comfort for myself. All the while being mindful not to set something on fire or accidentally tip a bottle of prized olive oil out the window.

So it was about 8:30pm the night before a national holiday. I had a very important birthday party to attend the next day and wanted to bring a dish. I was going to make some junky Mexican snacks, but then when none of the ingredients I wanted were on hand, I found myself pacing the aisles trying to think of something on the fly. Considering all aspects of my life had now changed, from my transport to what plastic containers may or may not be at my disposable, I went with one of the simplest and also one of the first dishes I’d ever cooked -chicken salad.

salad

I didn’t have a camera so I took all the photos on my iPad. And I stole (or borrowed) a few of the ingredients off my generous friends (thank you). I can report that it turned out all right. I mean, what can I say? It’s chicken salad. It’s a snap to make, and it’s good. Does any one else out there really care? Do you need to? I suppose if you ever find yourself in my sort of situation, then you might want to give this a try.

Bloggable Apple and Bacon Chicken Salad

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • juice of an orange
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Dijon mustard
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 small red onion
  • 10-12 strips of bacon
  • capers
  • mayonnaise
  • Bibb lettuce leaves
Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise in order to even out the thickness. In a small bowl, mix the orange juice with a bit of Dijon mustard, a little olive oil, salt and lots of black pepper.

marinadePour the marinade over the chicken.

marinateSlice the bacon into thin strips and toss in a pan on medium high heat.

baconCook until crispy, then drain on a paper towel. Mmmm. Bacon fat.

fatDice the apple, finely dice the onion, add salt and lots of pepper, and a little lemon juice so the apples don’t oxidise.

apple and onionSaute the chicken breast with a little bit of the marinade on medium high heat. About 3-5 minutes each side.

sauteTry to refrain from moving the meat too much. Just turn once so it browns nicely.

chicken breastRemove from the pan and let cool. Dice and add to the bowl.

chop
Add the bacon and a little mayonnaise.

mayoAdd more salt and pepper if necessary. Let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving on a lettuce leaf.

PS -the description of other people’s kitchens is sort of an amalgamation of all the unfamiliar kitchens I’ve cooked in in my life. The two places I’ve stayed thus far have actually had a pretty bling set up. So definitely no whining here.

6 Comments

  1. It’s amazing how much an unfamiliar kitchen can change your cooking style. I housesit for a friend who has a looooooovely kitchen, with a generous amount of workspace, and I always find myself cooking more time- & space-consuming things. Fresh pasta, jam, you know!

  2. Pei

    Oh I hear you about the comfort factor of cooking in the familiarity of one’s own kitchen. When asked to cook at friends’ apartments, I find myself hesitant even if they have kitchens larger than my bedroom…there’s just something about knowing what and where everything is, knowing that you have the tools you’re most comfortable with at your disposal.

    Being in-between apartments/countries is a pain at any rate. Good luck with the move!

  3. best chicken salad i’ve had so far, hands down! always love salads with fruits in it…and of course a touch (or a lot) of bacon won’t hurt :D

  4. Jonny Berger

    Red onions = instant fail ;)

  5. Tom

    You have an iPad?

  6. Some truly superb info , Sword lily I observed this. “The historian must have some conceptions of how men who are not historians behave.” by Edward Morgan Forster.

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