Like always, after a major holiday meal, the fridge is bursting at the seams with leftovers, for which I am trying to find creative ways to repurpose them. The leftover ham will be diced and made into a pasta sauce with cream and peas. The panettone can be used for French toast or bread pudding. And the boiled chicken I used for the stock becomes a chicken salad.
(There are no tortellini left, on account of the four bowls I managed to eat over two days).
Whenever I travel to Southern Europe, I am always surprised by the lack of a salad culture, especially of the chicken variety. It could be on account of the tradition of eating boiled meats, including chicken, with different sauces. Here in the States, nobody in their right mind craves boiled chicken – other than my dogs. And chicken – roasted, broiled or boiled – is usually plopped down on a bed of greens, dressed up with a vinaigrette or doused in mayonnaise and, voila, you have the ubiquitous chicken salad.
This particular recipe comes from my mother in law, who learnt it from her mother. And now I make it – and my mom has become a fan. It couldn’t be easier and it can be served in a sandwich for a quick lunch or on fancy toasted bread for a cocktail party. I used 3/4 of a boiled chicken. The rest will be parceled out between two greedy dogs. It’s Christmas for them too.
shredded meat from one boiled chicken
1 large carrot
1 celery rib
2 T mayonnaise
1 ts mustard
salt and pepper
- Put the chicken and the vegetables in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have a very crumbly texture. I don’t like it as a paste but if that is your preferred texture, whiz away (alternatively chop everything really fine with a knife).
- Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, mixing well and tasting as you go along. Adjust to your own palate.
- Serve on toasted bread or bagel, with greens on the side.