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the best chicken salad



Imagine a chicken salad without mayonnaise. Healthy yes. But delicious? Unlikely. Right?

WRONG. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to my mother-in-law for sharing some of her kitchen skills and for teaching me how to re-create one of my all time favorite recipes of hers. Turkish Cerkez Tavugu involves creating a "sauce" of ground walnuts and garlic, combining it with meticulously shredded chicken, and adding a bit of spice. The seemingly odd secret ingredient? A piece of day old bread.

We had this for dinner Sunday night with a bit of bread and a big salad of mixed greens, watermelon, feta and balsamic. Yesterday it made for an insanely awesome chicken salad sandwich. Now that I know how to make this dish, there's no doubt I will be making it again and again.




Here's what you'll need:
1 4-5 lb whole chicken
2 cups of whole walnuts
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups reserved stock {from poaching liquid}
2 pieces day old bread (crumbled)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
Remove giblets from chicken and pat dry. Place in large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, until cooked through. Do not boil. Once chicken is done cooking, remove chicken and set aside. Reserve 1 1/2-2 cups of poaching liquid and set aside. Once chicken is cool, shred meat from entire chicken into small pieces. Set aside.

Add walnuts and garlic to a food processor and pulse until walnuts and garlic are ground into very small pieces. Then, in a saucepan over medium high heat, add stock, crumbled bread and walnut/garlic mixture. Whisk to combine until you have a uniform mixture. Remove from heat and stir in chicken, adding a bit more stock if needed. Add in paprika and salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. You may sprinkle with additional paprika or a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Serve with crackers or bread and enjoy!

10 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic! I am definitely going to have to try. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  2. Omg. Be still my heart. I need to make this.

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  3. this looks INCREDIBLE! Of course I need a food processor, this is a good excuse to get one!

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  4. Interesting. I'm slightly obsessed with chicken salad, but I've never seen one like this.

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  5. This looks delicious!! Too funny about the day old bread :) I love Zoe's Chicken Salad but this looks like it could definitely beat it!!

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  6. YUM this looks delish. Pinning it on my board stat.

    Defining Tabitha

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. yummmmm....looks tasty :)
    Have a look into my blog if you find some time & give your feedback
    http://nanditakitchenrecipe.blogspot.in/

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  9. looks SO good! pinning now.. hopefully actually making this dish later! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

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