Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Waldorf Sandwiches/What Promises are made of.

I promised I'd make things with meat in them. I promised I'd make easy-peasy grad student recipes. And I'm the kind of girl who keeps her promises. Believe it.

Conveniently though, this recipe caught my eye during one of my long, long food-surfing sessions. You know, the sites I visit daily to slobber over sensual, glamorous food, the likes of which I can never conjure up. This one, though, was the type you could pull off even if all your recipe book has toast, coffee and Maggi in it. Prep time aside, it takes five minutes to assemble.
So it works out for all of us. You can thank me later.

And did I mention this has no fancy herb or cut of meat in it? You could go down the frozen meats route and dig out a pack of boneless chicken breasts. Or if you're paranoid about the halal factor and/or freshness, call your friendly neighbourhood butcher (they're gentle giants).

Chicken Waldorf Salad: instantly, I think of the smoked chicken sandwich at Barista. While it is good (if a wee bit pricey), I've no idea when it was made or how much grease has gone into it, in the form of mayonnaise and butter.

Make them at home. Serve it to your mum's posh friends. Gloat whilst they diss their daughters and praise you. And if you're making this for men, name it something else. Chicken salad has quite the reputation for being bridal shower/"kitty" party food.

I made it at night, stored it in a bowl wrapped with cling film, and served it at breakfast. Yes. We have meat for breakfast. Get over it. In my defense, it was a Sunday. Pah.

Mostly-Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad Sandwiches.


400g of boneless chicken, cubed.
3 celery ribs (optional)
3/4 cup pineapple, peeled and chopped.
1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped.
1 medium onion, finely diced.
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise (Light is good)
1/2 cup unflavoured yogurt.
2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Mint/Parsley, a small handful-chiffoned (chopped fine).
Salt and Pepper, to taste.


For the chicken:

Place your chicken pieces in a medium-sized vessel. Fill it with enough water so it's a couple of inches above the level of the chicken. Add plenty of salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook until it's completely reduced.
Another way to cook the chicken would be to rub the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper. Simply bake/grill them until tender.

Once the chicken is cool, shred the pieces into your-ideal-sized pieces. For example:-

In another bowl, combine the chopped pineapple and apple.

I used a ripe, sweet pineapple. In contrast, a green apple would be fantastic; or you can pick up Washington or Fuji apples at Kovai Pazhamudir Chozhai. Regular old apples would be fine, too. Just make sure they are tart and crisp. If they're very sweet and doughy, skip the apples altogether.

Chop the celery into tiny dice.

Celery adds another whole dimension to the dish, not to mention an interesting texture. Again, they're available in most greengrocers... if your subziwalla/kaigari kaar doesn't have them, supplement with extra mint for a herb-y touch and more onions for a crunch.

In a bowl, mix together the chopped onion, chicken, apple-pineapple, celery, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Taste it. If the consistency or the seasoning isn't enough, make adjustments. You could add more mayo, less fruit, plenty of pepper, whatever.

Toast the walnuts. Chop them coarsley. Add into the chicken mix.

Serve on toasted baguette slices or stuffed between two pieces of wholewheat bread. I skipped the grilling as I wanted a cold sandwich that would befit Summer. Or wrap spoonfuls inside crisp, cold lettuce leaves for a refreshing appetizer/amuse bouche.

This post could be tagged healthy, technically. It depends on how you make it. Either way, you could close your eyes when you see the two tablespoons of mayo part. Out of sight, out of mind. Work with me!

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