Friday, July 30, 2010

Gourmet Chicken Salad with Snow Peas and Water Chestnuts

Southern Belles love their Chicken Salad and it is a summer staple in kitchens throughout the South. While there are many variations, I developed one myself that is a hit in my own home as well as at parties and luncheons! Snow Peas and Water Chestnuts give this chicken salad an Asian flair while the garlic and Tony's lend a delicious Cajun flavor. Lots of garlic is key in this can't go wrong with this version! Serve it with sweet iced tea, a Chardonnay, freshly baked croissants and fresh cut fruit.

2 pkgs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lg onion, ¼ chopped fine
3 lg stalks of celery, 1 stalk chopped fine
4 cloves garlic minced
4 green onions chopped
1 lb snow peas
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1/3 cup White wine
Reserved chicken broth

Place chicken breasts in large pot. Cover with water (1” over top of breasts). Cut length of 2 celery stalks in half and ¾ of onion and add to pot. Season water with Tony’s & garlic powder (or salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder). Cover and cook until breasts are just done and firm but not falling apart. Remove breasts, reserve broth and allow both to cool.

While chicken is cooking, add about 1 cup mayo, white wine, garlic, green onion and remaining chopped onion and celery to a large mixing bowl. Season liberally with Tony’s and stir well. Add water chestnuts and snow peas, stir well to coat and allow to sit while chicken cooks and both chicken and broth cool.

When chicken is cool, cut it into large bite size chunks and place in the bowl with the seasoned vegetable/mayo mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of broth, more mayo as needed and stir, doing so until you get the desired consistency and the chicken is coated well (I like mine a little dry). Check seasonings adding more garlic, Tony's and salt, if necessary. Yummy!

***Note: I place the cooled broth in a ziplock bag and freeze it for future use! Seasoned homemade broth is better than store bought any day!!!


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