The heat wave continues in the UK and I wanted to share one of my all-time favourite hot weather recipes, good for lunch or dinner at the table, on the terrace or in picnic form. It is my version of Coronation Chicken and fair to say I have never had it anywhere else since I pinched the recipe from a friend back in 1982 so unless Annie’s coming to supper you will take your guests by surprise. It is a sure-fire winner and the left-overs are possibly even better next day.
Chicken and Almond Salad
1 chicken breast fillet per person or maybe 3 between 3, remove the skin and slice into generous slices.
A small handful of toasted whole almonds (for 2) or more to taste
A small handful of raisins soaked in hot water and drained.
A mayonnaise sauce made from mayonnaise itself (I use Hellman’s) and reduced fat sour cream (or yoghurt, or fromage frais or double cream depending on your taste and waistline). Proportions about half and half.
Cos lettuce or your favourite crispy lettuce.
Toast the whole blanched almonds in a dry frying pan until they are toasty golden brown at least in places.
Poach the chicken slices in water with peppercorns, fresh herbs if you have them, half a carrot and a little salt. When the chicken goes white it is cooked through and you can turn the heat off.
Soak and drain the raisins to plump them up.
Cool the chicken and remove from the water. Cut the slices into chunks.
In a large bowl combine the chicken chunks, almonds and raisins. Add the chilled mayonnaise and grate a little raw onion on top. Add black pepper and combine all gently. Keep in a tupperware in the fridge until needed. It keeps well for 48 hours.
When the salad is needed arrange the lettuce leaves beautifully on a large white plate or in a large white bowl and then tip the chicken mixture on top leaving much of the lovely green lettuce leaves showing around the edge. The picture below is only in a picnic box but it can look rather elegant!
If you don’t eat chicken you can make quite a nice Waldorf salad with walnuts and apple and if you want to bulk it out add some cooked vegetables of chunks of raw courgette or newly podded broad beans.