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It’s Lunch Time! How About a Nice Chicken-Avocado Salad Sandwich?

I love to have a sandwich for lunch (or for dinner for that matter) and very often, if I have some leftover chicken, I will make some chicken salad to have on a sandwich. I guess I have always tried it the traditional way with some mayonnaise, a little bit of celery and some salt and pepper and that’s about it. For me that is all I really need. When I had some leftover boneless chicken breasts I had made for dinner recently I really wanted some chicken salad but I wanted to mix things up a little bit and try something different and maybe even a touch healthier. This recipe was in the last issue of Cook’s Country and is for chicken-avocado salad sandwiches, where the avocado and a simple vinaigrette combine together to take the place of the mayonnaise to make a nice alternative for you.

Chicken-Avocado Salad Sandwiches

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper

1 rip avocado, halved, pitted and chopped coarse

2 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded or diced into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)

8 slices sandwich bread, toasted

8-10 lettuce leaves (any variety)

2 tomatoes, cored and sliced thin

Combine the buttermilk, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper together in a medium bowl and mix until the ingredients are blended. Add the avocado and mash the avocado into the dressing with a fork. Stir in the chicken until it is fully combined into the avocado mixture. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

Place a heaping 1/2 cup of the chicken salad on each of 4 bread slices. Divide and arrange the lettuce leaves and the tomatoes over the chicken salad, then top the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices and serve.

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the flavor and texture of the chicken salad using these ingredients. I didn’t miss the mayonnaise at all in the mixture and I really liked the mix of the avocado, lime juice and buttermilk as it all seemed to come together very nicely. I used some spinach leaves and tomatoes to finish off the sandwich, but you could really add just about anything you want to this one to make it special – Romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, sliced red onion, pickles, some slices of bacon or anything else that you like to have with your chicken salad. I had mine on some homemade white bread and it was perfect, though I wish I had some homemade rye on hand because I think it would have been even better! All in all I think this is a great alternative when you want to have some chicken salad without the use of mayonnaise. I’ll definitely be making this one again next time I have some leftover chicken around.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Work has been keeping me pretty occupied so I haven’t had as much time as I would like to get on here, but I do have lots of other recipes to share and some new things to try, so keep checking back to see what comes along. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!chickenavocadosaladsandwich

 
 

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Superb and Scrumptious – Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich with Peach Chutney

It’s no big secret that I love sandwiches. I am pretty sure I could just eat different sandwiches for meals all the time and be quite happy with it. I am always looking for new ideas for sandwiches and Michelle and I were watching “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” a few nights ago when we saw this sandwich being made at the Leaping Lizard Cafe in Virginia Beach, Virginia. it was for a chicken salad sandwich with peach chutney that looked amazing. We both immediately wanted to have one and since driving to Virginia Beach at that time wasn’t very practical, I decided we would be better off making it ourselves. They were not real specific about amounts for the ingredients and it took some searching online before I finally found a posting at Group Recipes for one that seems pretty darn close to what they made.

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich with Peach Chutney

1 rotisserie chicken, dark and white meat picked and pulled

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder (to taste)

4 scallions, sliced – white and green parts sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 cup toasted almond slices

For the Peach Chutney:

1 can sliced peaches in natural juices (16 ounces), drained but not rinsed

3/4 cup diced red pepper

3/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

For the chutney, combine the peaches, red pepper, onion, raisins, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, cider vinegar, sugar and water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the heat down so the mixture is at a simmer. Simmer the chutney until the liquid is reduced by 2/3, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the chutney to room temperature.

For the chicken salad, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder together in a medium bowl until well blended. Set the dressing aside for the flavors to meld, about 15 minutes.

Take about 1/3 of the picked chicken and place it in the food processor. Pulse briefly in the food processor until the chicken is finely ground. Combine the ground chicken, the remaining shredded chicken and the mayonnaise mixture. Toss in the sliced scallions and almonds and mix gently to fold in the chicken. Toss in 1/2 cup of the cooled chutney with the chicken and blend well.

To make the sandwich, take two slices of preferred bread and place sliced tomatoes on half of the bread. Spread the chicken salad over the tomatoes and top with lettuce or other leafy greens. If you desire, place the sandwich on a panini press to toast it lightly; do not press down on the sandwich while it is in the panini press. Slice the sandwich and serve.

This chicken salad was delicious and made a great sandwich. I loved the mix of the chutney with the peaches and raisins and what it added to the sandwich and the curry in the chicken salad was not overpowering at all and added some great flavor. The sandwich had everything you could want – great taste, vegetables, fruit and some crunch. I would definitely make it again and had leftovers for lunches for days and had the chutney with a bunch of other meals as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Cooking, Lunch, Poultry, Sandwiches, Sauce

 

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It’s Too Hot Out to Cook, Let’s Make Some Chicken Salad

Holy Moley it’s been pretty humid here. Today especially seems too humid and sticky out to bother with the oven. Luckily, we have lots of chicken available of all different types, so it makes it ideal to make some chicken salad sandwiches for dinner tonight. Personally, I love a good sandwich. I don’t eat cold cuts or deli meat, except for the occasional pastrami sandwich. I would much rather have a sandwich using fresh meat, like turkey, chicken or tuna, or even shrimp or lobster. There are a lot of things you can do to make any of these things into a great sandwich. Even just making a nice vegetable sandwich can be awesome, using fresh tomatoes, lettuce, maybe some grilled eggplant, mushrooms, the combinations can be endless. For tonight, we’ll keep it simple with basic chicken salad.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ribs of celery, chopped fine

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 scallions, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

6 hard rolls (or any bread you might like, enough for 6 sandwiches)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken and cook until lightly golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over, cover and continue to cook until it is no longer pink the center, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Cut the chilled chicken into 3/4-inch pieces and toss with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread on the rolls and serve.

If you’re like me, we almost always have leftover chicken that can be used instead of making chicken just to make the salad. Use what you have or make it this way. You could also just bake the chicken in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until it is cooked through. Once it is time to make the sandwiches, you can build it anyway you like. Add some fresh sliced tomato, leaves of lettuce or spinach, some sliced red onion, a slice or two of bacon, some sliced avocado, or whatever else you might like to have on the sandwich. That’s the great thing about sandwiches – you can do whatever you want with them.

For sides, you can make potato salad, serve it with some chips or some pickle. You could also make some coleslaw to go along side of it. I like this coleslaw recipe since it doesn’t use mayonnaise. I do like the creamy slaw, but using this simple recipe can save you some fat and calories and it tastes great.

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, like jalapeno (optional)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 cups core shredded green and/or red cabbage

1 large red or yellow pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1/3 cup chopped scallion

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

To make the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, along with the garlic and chile, if using. Add the oil, a little at a time, whisking all the while.

Combine the cabbage, bell pepper and scallion and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss with the parsley.

I normally let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two so the flavors can meld together nicely, but you could let it go even longer if you wanted to. Also, sometimes I add a little shredded carrot to the mix. You could also just buy one of those bags of coleslaw mix and use what is in the bag and just make this dressing.

That’s all for tonight. We do have a few things we are hoping to make for dinner in the next few days, so I hope to post some other recipes this weekend as well. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Cooking, Lunch, Poultry, Salad, Sandwiches

 

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Warm Chicken Salad on a Chilly Day

It’s a nasty, rainy, cold day here in Harriman today. Today would have been better suited for the potato soup we made on Tuesday, but that’s the way the menu kind of fell out this week. Michelle and I used to eat Warm Chicken Salad at least once a week when we first got married, before Sean was born. It’s such a quick, easy meal that could be thrown together at the last-minute. it’s also great to make for a buffet-style party to put out with other foods, giving a healthier choice for people to eat. Another nice thing about this recipe is that you can really put in as many or as few ingredients as you like. We all like different things in a salad, and this gives a great opportunity to “customize” your meal however you would like it.

Warm Chicken Salad

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs ( I am using my own, but you could use panko or other store-bought if you like)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon water

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat

1 package mixed salad greens, such as romaine, spinach, arugula, mesclun or Bibb lettuce

Salad additions (recommendations to follow recipe)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and set aside to cool. Wipe the skillet clean. In a separate shallow dish, add the flour and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In a third shallow dish, add the egg and water and lightly combine. Dredge the chicken in the flour, lightly shaking off any excess. Then dip in the egg mixture and then dip in the breadcrumbs. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere. Over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Add in the chicken and saute until golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook until it is no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes longer.Transfer the chicken to a plate and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Arrange the chicken with the salad and any accompaniments. Toss lightly and serve.

The nice thing about salad is you can add whatever you want to it. Here is a list of a few suggestions:

Cucumbers (I prefer the English ones myself)

Shaved Carrots

Olives (any kind you like really)

Artichoke hearts

Tomatoes – I find the cherry tomatoes work best in a salad

Avocados

Radishes

Scallions

Peppers – if you want a bit of  color

Hard-boiled eggs – you could just add the whites if you don’t like the yolks

Crumbled bacon

Cheese – whatever kind you like really – feta, cheddar, Asiago, blue cheese

Nuts – sliced almonds or walnuts work well

Beans – chickpeas and black beans are both great in salad

The combinations are virtually endless. They are so many different ways to serve this dish that alone it could probably make 20 different recipes. This also makes a great lunch if you just refrigerate the chicken after sauteing and want to have some the next day. Three more things about salad I want to say. One, fresh, clean greens are essential to a good salad. If you don’t have a salad spinner, I think you should invest in one. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it and you will notice the difference in the way the greens of your salad turn out. Two, dressings, as I have said before, seem to be a personal choice. You don’t even need a dressing for this dish if you don’t want one (Many times we don’t use one). For this salad, I think just about any dressing is a great addition, although something creamy like a ranch, a blue cheese or a creamy garlic might be the best. There are lots of good brands available that you might like, or feel free to send me a message and I would be glad to supply a recipe for one to you. Third, I love a salad with croutons. Homemade croutons taste far better than anything you will buy at the store, and the store-bought ones are usually loaded with preservatives anyway. Besides saving money by making them yourself, you can add whatever spices you like to them for extra flavor. Here is a recipe for some simple garlic croutons.

Garlic Croutons

3 tablespoons olive oil (it really does taste better if you can use olive oil for this one)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups (1/2-inch) bread cubes (I don’t think it matters what kind of bread you use for this, as long as you cube it to a uniform size)

Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the oil, garlic and salt together in a large bowl. Add the bread cubes and toss until thoroughly coated. Spread the bread onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the croutons to cool at room temperature before serving.

Like the salad, you can add lots of things to the taste of the croutons, like chili powder, rosemary, thyme, oregano, Parmesan cheese, paprika, whatever you might like to taste.

That’s all that’s to dinner tonight. Light, healthy and quick, just the way we wanted it to be. Tomorrow I really am going to the fish market to see what I can get, so it’s kind of a mystery as to what I’ll be cooking (just don’t think of it as the Manager’s Choice that used to appear on the lunch menu in school). We’ll also be laying out the meal plan for next week tonight, so I will post that as well if you’re interested. If you’re interested in using the meal plan, here it is if you want to print it out:family_meal_planner. As always, if you have any questions, comments (good or bad, I’m not sensitive, I can take it) or just want to say hello, please feel free to leave a comment or a message. hopefully you’re enjoying the recipes and can use some of the ideas for your own cooking. Until tomorrow, enjoy your evening and try to stay warm if you’re here in the Northeast. Might be a good night for hot cocoa, or an Irish coffee!

 

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Dinner, Equipment, Lunch, Salad, Vegetables

 

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