Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why the raisins?

Since I had a certain amount of cooked chicken to dispose of, I chose to use some of it in a chicken and avacado salad (p176). Also convenient to this plan was the fact that avacados are in season at the moment and therefore really cheap.

It's a simple dish to make: toss your avacado in lemon juice, add chopped chicken, slices of orange, raisins and chopped celery. Mix everything together with some mayonnaise and pile it all on a bed of lettuce leaves.

I really should have knocked another recipe off my list by making the mayonnaise myself (p184), but there will be other recipes which require mayonnaise, and I was too hungry to bother.

Since I was only making the salad for myself, I ignored the given quantities and used very precise measurements of 'some', this method resulting in proportionally way too much celery and mayonaise.

It didn't look anything like the picture. For a start, the one in the picture wasn't drowning in mayo. This particular recipe is an exception to something that's usually great about the Edmonds book: since there are hardly any pictures, you don't feel disappointed when your recipe doesn't come out looking as good as the picture.

But that doesn't mean it didn't taste good. I'd leave out the raisins next time, or possibly substitute walnuts or sunflower seeds. I liked the chewy texture against the crunch of the celery, but the flavour was a bit weird. It's not that I don't like raisins, just that I think one fruit per salad is enough. Unless you're making fruit salad, obviously.

The celery was a bit overpowering, but I did put in about 3 times as much as I should have, which would explain it. I'll also moderate the mayonnaise usage next time.

What I really liked about this salad was the "on a bed of lettuce" thing. Being the messy eater I am, I abandoned my fork and folded the lettuce leaves into little parcels to eat with my fingers. Excellent.

So next time you have some leftover chicken, have a go at this. If you leave out the raisins and get the proportions right, it'll be pretty good.

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