I am slowly getting all the great new recipes I’ve tried in the past month or more posted. This is one of them. We were having company over for dinner, and there was a total of 5 adults to feed. I’d been laid up earlier in the day by a headache, and was behind my game. So instead of making the recipe I’d planned on, I served the Southwestern Corn Chowder that I just posted last week. But I wanted something more for the meal, and my frantic flipping though my cookbooks found this easy but promising recipe. With a few tweaks I was able to prepare it fairly quickly and yet still safe for me. And it was delicious. I need to make this again!
Broccoli and Chicken Salad (from the Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith, page 97 in my edition)
- 2 heads broccoli
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- Cottage Cheese and Dill Dressing [from page 95 of the same cookbook], refrigerated
“Clean the broccoli, and trim off the toughest parts of the stems. Cut the upper parts of the stems and the tops into small pieces or flowerets. Blanch in boiling water with the peanut oil. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Then drain and plunge into cold water. Drain, and chill.
Cook the chicken breasts by either roasting or poaching. Debone, cut up, and chill.
Assemble the salad, add the parsley and onions, [and] toss with the dressing.
Serve with a dry white wine.
Serves four as dinner. More as side salad.”
As I mentioned, I was in a hurry when I found this recipe, to which I happened to have the ingredients. So even if I’d been able to eat the homemade dressing he called for, I wouldn’t have made it. As it was, I used an Italian dressing I had in the refrigerator already, which I knew tasted great, and was easy.
I also didn’t want to complicate my work any further when in a hurry, so instead of worrying about poaching or roasting, I sliced up the chicken breasts I had (with an extra one or two that were on hand) and sauteed them in olive oil, not peanut oil. Meanwhile I was blanching and simmering the broccoli (which I also had extra that I added).
Due to time constraints, I did not chill the individual ingredients. I had run cold water over the broccoli, so that was already somewhat chilled, and the dressing had been in the refrigerator, so that was also cold. I tossed those ingredients together with the sliced green onions (extra of those as well) and the still-warm chicken. I admit it; I forgot the parsley. I didn’t have any fresh parsley on hand anyway. No white wine with the meal either, as that is on my bad list right now.
This recipe was simple enough to make, that I was able to make it quickly and have the meal ready almost on time, despite my late start. It also seemed to hold up well to my substitutions, omissions, and quantity adjustments. Judging by how completely the bowl was cleaned out by the end of the meal, I would judge that it was a complete success. I would definitely make this again!