Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Salad

I saw Tyler making this on the Food Network, it looked so delicious, but it was one of those recipes that looked a little bit hard to replicate. Well, I looked it up, and decided to go for it! I think the biggest thing that intimidated me was the chicken; I think that is just a process that is just way too time consuming for me, and not worth the outcome for a recipe like this. Of course, Tyler cooked his own chicken...I didn't. If you choose to do Tyler's chicken, I put that part of the recipe at the bottom of the post. I did what I have been doing a lot of lately, and that's using an already cooked rotisserie from the deli that I debone and have ready to go in the fridge. (I have ready-to-go chicken all the time lately; if not the rotisseries, then just some boneless skinless breasts that I season, bake and keep in the fridge just the same). OK, so once I got past the was simple! This is such a great recipe to really impress someone. Having friends over, or the in-laws? This, and a nice fruit plate, or a simple tastes good, and looks fancy. Using the bread Tyler did, will really make it look better, I promise. It's meatier, fluffier. We just don't eat any type of white bread.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches:
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Kosher salt
About 1 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 celery stalks, small diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves plus sprigs, for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ***( in the end the EVOO flavor was too heavy to me, I will cut back on this to 1 tbsp next time)
Freshly ground black pepperBold
2 cups shredded chicken meat , roughly chopped
8 slices sourdough bread , cut 1/2-inch thick ***(I used plain whole wheat bread)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature ***(I omitted this)
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 pound brie
1 green apple, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roughly chop the walnuts and then gently toast in a dry skillet over medium heat until they brown and are slightly fragrant. Season walnuts with salt once they are finished toasting. Add the walnuts, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, celery, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large mixing bowl and combine. Fold in the shredded chicken and set aside while you prepare the bread.
Toast the bread in a hot oven until golden. Smear each piece with a little butter and then a tablespoon of cranberry sauce over 4 of the pieces. Lay the 4 cranberry-smeared pieces out on a sheet tray and top each piece with 2 to 3 slices of thick-cut brie. Pop this back in the oven for a minute or 2 so the cheese is slightly melted and creamy. Remove from the oven and top with a few slices of green apple. Top with a scoop of the chicken salad and cover with the other half of the bread to complete the sandwich. Serve.
***I served mine "open-faced" instead of like a sandwich. It doesn't change the directions for the recipe. Also, IBold didn't like putting the cranberry sauce on the toasted bread, and then putting in back in the oven again to melt the cheese. It toasted the bread too much. When I made these again with the leftovers I didn't do them "open-faced". I toasted the bread, immediately placed the sliced cheese on one slice of hot bread, topped with apples, then the chicken salad. Then I smeared the cranberry sauce on the other slice and used it to top the sandwich. Hopefully that makes sense...I just liked how it worked out better. And having the cheese right next to the apples is key to me-just flavor combo!

Poached Chicken
1 (2 to 3-pound) whole chicken
1 gallon water
2 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
2 turnips, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
10 peppercorns
3 bay leaves

Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 1 gallon of cool water. Add the vegetables and herbs and bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim well; then simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming frequently as the oil rises to the surface. When done, remove to a platter and set aside to cool. Strain the liquid and reserve it for use as chicken stock. Shred the chicken meat and discard the skin and bones.

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