Chicken and Fruit Salad

Here’s a recipe sure to bring back memories of hot summer nights.  I think this would also make a refreshing lunch to pack, now that school has begun.  Av, Amy & I are off gluten, so looking for lunch ideas especially.  Check out the book “Wheat Bellies” & you may all choose this path of gluten-free.

2 whole boneless chicken breasts (8 oz. each) (Or market chicken already roasted, for time saver)

1 green onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

¼ cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Gently simmer chicken breasts in which covers the chicken. Do not let boil as this makes the chicken tough. Cool and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Mix above ingredients together and set aside.

1/3 large pineapple (fresh is best with this recipe)

3 oz. grapes, cut in half

1 mango, optional

1 small jalapeno pepper, finely chopped in food processor

Cut fruit up and mix with: 2 teaspoons canola oil 2 teaspoons lemon juice (I have made this without using the oil and lemon juice; it is good either way.) Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Just before serving, line a platter or individual plates with red leaf lettuce leaves. Mound chicken salad in center and surround with fruit. Makes six 6-ounce servings.

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Chicken Mango Lettuce Bundles with Ginger Dipping Sauce

This dish is served rolled up in large lettuce leaves, like a salad wrap sandwich. Arrange the accompaniments on a large platter and let guests make their own.

Total prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 cups finely shredded cooked chicken
3 scallions, thinly sliced
5 large basil leaves, slivered
3 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Dipping Sauce:
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 tsp light brown sugar

Accompaniments:
1 head leaf lettuce, separated, washed, and dried (about 10 leaves, green leaf, red leaf, or romaine)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin strips (see tip at end of recipe)
1 cup bean sprouts
Additional basil and mint sprigs
1 lime, quartered

Directions:
In a medium bowl, toss chicken with scallions, basil, mint, oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, whisk together dipping sauce ingredients.

Place about 1/3 cup chicken salad in a lettuce leaf. Top with strips of red bell pepper and mango, bean spouts, basil and mint leaves (if desired), and a squeeze of lime. Roll lettuce up to enclose ingredients and dip into sauce before eating.

Tip: Cutting Mango Matchsticks
(Fine Cooking magazine, by Dabney Gough)

1. Use a very sharp vegetable peeler or a paring knife to remove the skin; try not to take a lot of the fruit along with it. Cut a slice off the stem end to make a stable base and then stand the mango upright on the base.
2. Cut the flesh away from each broad side of the fruit. The pit tapers at the top and bottom, so start a little closer to the center and cut down in a slight arc to follow the contour of the pit. Repeat along the two remaining narrow sides, trying to avoid the fibrous edge of the pit.
3. Slice the fruit lengthwise about 1/8 inch thick.
4. Stack three or four slices flat on the board and cut lengthwise again about 1/8 inch thick.

Chicken and Garlic Chowder

This is one of THE most divine soups I’ve ever made. I’m a huge soup junkie – there is just almost nothing better on a cool night than a rich, savory broth and crusty bread. For this soup, I ended up making the sofrito myself, since I couldn’t find it anywhere (I’m not sure what sort of supermarkets the editors of Food and Wine are shopping at…), but it was easy and I froze the leftovers in ice cube trays to stick into future reprises.

Text below from Food and Wine.

The beauty of this recipe is that it takes advantage of an array of terrific prefab ingredients, from prepeeled garlic and precut butternut squash to rotisserie chicken and frozen sofrito (the Spanish green-pepper-and-onion seasoning paste). Poaching the prepeeled garlic cloves in milk helps bring out an extraordinary depth of flavor.

The gentle flavors of this chowder are best matched by a full-bodied Chardonnay without too much oak. Some of the best examples come from the windy hilltops of the Sonoma Coast, like the clean, refreshing 2004 Hartford Sonoma Coast and the lively 2003 Ramey Sonoma Coast.

5 peeled garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups milk
6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
12 ounces peeled precut butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup sofrito (see Note)
One 3 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken—juices reserved, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the prepeeled garlic cloves with the milk and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until the garlic is soft and the milk has reduced to 1 cup, about 40 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree it until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, combine the chicken stock, squash and sofrito and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the squash is just tender, about 20 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and its juices, the peas and the creamy garlic puree. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the chowder for 5 minutes longer and serve. Serves 6.

Sofrito is available in tubs in the freezer section of many supermarkets.

Chipotle Avocado Turkey Burgers

Also from Men’s Health…best source for this type of healthy yumminess!

8 oz lean ground turkey
2 wheat or whole-grain buns, toasted
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 Tbsp chipotle salsa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch of cumin
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp low-fat sour cream

1. Mix the meat, salt, pepper, and cumin, and form it into two equal patties.

2. Preheat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Coat with a bit of oil and add the burgers, cooking them for 4 to 5 minutes a side, until slightly firm to the touch.

3. Dress each bun with avocado slices, tomato, and red onion. Top with the burger, sour cream, and salsa.

Per serving 419 calories, 27 g protein, 37 g carbs, 21 g fat (5 saturated), 7 g fiber, 685 mg sodium

The Big Kahuna Burger from Men’s Health

This burger is just ridiculously good. And easy. And also great post-workout; apparently it has the right carb-protein balance to repair muscles. Even if you don’t care about that, it’s so delicious it COULD be bad for you and still worth eating.

10 oz ground turkey, divided into two patties
4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
2 slices fresh pineapple
2 thick slices red onion
2 whole-wheat buns, toasted
1/2 jalapeño, sliced thin
2 slices Swiss cheese

Cook the turkey according to “3 Rules for Perfect Burgers” (below), basting with the teriyaki sauce as you go. While the burgers cook, grill the pineapple and onion until lightly charred. Put each burger on a bun and layer on onion, pineapple, jalapeño, and cheese; top with more sauce. Makes 2 servings

Chicken and Black Bean Soup with Red Onion and Avocado

This soup is very easy and quick on a weeknight. It’s a medium weight for when you want something nourishing but not too heavy. It’s a nice change from the very thick black bean soups that are usual. I sometimes take out some of the beans and broth at the end and puree them in a food precessor, then add back in, to thicken the soup a bit if I don’t want it to be as brothy. This recipe size makes two dinner servings with enough leftover for lunch the next day.

2 chicken breasts, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 T olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp oregano
1.5 tsp cumin
4 c. chicken broth
2 cans black beans
Salt and pepper
Sliced avocado
Cilantro
Feta

In a soup pot, brown chicken in olive oil, then add onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin and saute till onions are golden and fragrant. Add the black beans and the chicken stock and some salt and pepper; simmer very gently for about 10 minutes. Top with avocado, cilantro, and feta.

Coq au Vin

Note: Alton Brown’s original recipe, below, has you cook the pearl onions and mushrooms with the rest of the preparation the day before and store them overnight. I’ve found this makes them turn slightly slimy by the next day, so I skip that step initially and do it while the chicken is simmering in the oven, right before you’re ready to eat. I save the bacon overnight so I can use it to brown the mushrooms.

24 to 30 pearl onions
4 chicken thighs and legs, or 1 (5 to 7-pound) stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces salt pork, slab bacon, or lardon, cubed
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 (750-ml) bottles red wine, preferably pinot noir
2 lespoons tomato paste
1 medium onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
2 medium carrots, quartered
cloves garlic, crushed
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock or broth

Directions

Cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an “x” with your knife in its place. Bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 1 minute. Remove the onions from the pot, allow them to cool, and then peel. You should be able to slide the onions right out of their skin. Set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.

Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium heat along with the salt pork. Cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the salt pork cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into a 7 to 8-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. Store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally.

Once the chicken is done, remove it to a heatproof container, cover, and place it in the oven to keep warm. Strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you actually began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve. Serve over egg noodles, if desired.

Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.