About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008
Chicken Salad with Apple, Celery & Walnuts

When I was thinking about the soup of couple of posts ago, the idea for it sprang from this particular salad. I'm not sure what that says about my thought processes, but I liked the concept of turning a tasty salad into a soup.

This particular salad is a summer fave, just brilliant with some crusty bread and a glass of crisp riesling - for those few of us who haven't given up the booze! The combination of fruit and nut, offset by the mild astringency of celery, marries perfectly with the chicken. The best chicken for this would be poached, but sometimes it is far simpler to pick up a ready cooked bird from your local supermarket. You might also like to buy some ready made mayonnaise to make things even easier.

Chicken Salad with Apple, Celery & Walnuts
(serves 2 or 4 with some bread)

1 cooked chicken, either poached or roasted
2 apples, peeled cored & diced
2 sticks celery, sliced finely
200g walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
finely chopped parsley - optional
salt & fresh ground pepper

If using poached chicken, strip the skin, remove all the meat from the bones and dice. If using a roast bird, you can leave the skin on. Place the chicken meat in a bowl and add the apple, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise, parsley if using and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
  posted at 8:14 am

At 1:37 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I don't think I've ever met a chicken salad I didn't love. I might be tempted to toss a bit of mild blue cheese into this salad, too.

At 7:42 am, Blogger katiez said...

It's a very scary journey to follow thought processes. It least your's appears to have had an excellent end result!
And let's hear it for the Reisling! (yes, I'm one, also!)

At 9:14 am, Anonymous Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

I know that chicken and tuna salads often feature celery for the crunch, but I just can't stomach it :/ Have you got any suggestions of what I could use in its place?

(btw, nice work with the photos!)

At 10:21 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi lydia, it's like a little black dress...good anywhere. Like the blue cheese idea.

Hi katiez, my thinking does worry me sometimes, but all's well that ends well. Yay for reisling.

Hi ellie, if it's not too much of a textural thing, finely sliced fennel or the white part of silver beet (Swiss chard) could substitute, otherwise something like jicama cut into matchsticks or even celeriac grated straight in would work. Perhaps even french beans either raw or quickly blanched and cut into short lengths might be worth trying.

At 4:00 pm, Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Leaving out the celery would be a crime, but yes, fennel would work well. Or maybe florets of broccoli.

Neil, you've managed to improve the Walfdorf salad.

At 12:00 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi kitchen hand, I've just had a look on google, I had no idea about the Waldorf salad connection. This salad was taught to me by a friend many years ago, but you're right, it looks like a variation - a very tasty one.

At 12:47 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Hi Neil,
Waldorf Salad was one my mom made for us all the time when I was growing up. I still love it but just don't think to make it.
I would swear you got the recipe from her;) She generally alternated between walnuts and pecans.

At 2:43 am, Anonymous Christie said...

Love this salad Neil. I tend to find straight mayonnaise a little cloying so would probably add a few tablespoons of greek yoghurt, plus a squeeze of lemon juice!

At 1:21 pm, Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

I was going to tell you that in NYC, we call that a Waldorf salad, but someone beat me to it.

Try making this with a smoked chicken. It'll knock your socks off!

At 1:54 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, your mom's sounds lovely. For me, this is a summer salad, it's the only time I make it.

Hi christie, sometimes I feel just like you and lighten things up, great idea.

Hi robert, that is such a cool idea, for years I've never liked smoked chicken, feeling it was too dry, but we recently found a good one.

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