KEWL-est Chicken Salad!
kewl broccoli + walnut + grape chicken salad
Classic Chicken Salad has taken on the KEWL-est flavors around! This is one of my favorite sandwiches, considering that this recipe cooks up a classic that’s lightened up, while its flavor has heightened up (in other words, skyrocketed!)! Why? Well, thanks to the freshness of sweet grapes, the crispy bite of vivid broccoli, the crunch of walnuts, and the smooth richness of this delicious salad/sandwich in one, you’ve got an easy, fast meal that promises to satisfy!
what you need:
• 3 chicken breasts (enough to yield 1 lb medium-sized chunks when cooked and sliced [see below for instructions])
• 32 ounces (2 lbs) store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
• 3 celery stalks
• 2 carrots
• 1 clove fresh garlic
• 1 cup broccoli, stems removed and heads chopped into bite-sized chunks
• 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
• ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
• 1 cup red grapes, whole or sliced in half lengthwise
• ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 100% wholegrain bread slices, rolls, or pita (1-2 slices of bread per sandwich: 4 slices total if sandwiches will be open-faced [1 slice each], 8 slices total if sandwiches will have both a top and bottom slice [2 slices each]; if using pita, relegate one per serving [4 total], and insert a small knife into its rounded, circular edge to create a wide opening resembling a pocket, but do not split the pita completely), for serving (KewlTip: Pile this sandwich high for a tasty open-faced treat, or cap it off with a top slice of bread for a delicious take on a classic! While sliced bread, rolls, and pita are great choices to pair with this yummy sandwich, any other form of edible whole-wheat handles works really well, too!)
what to do:
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the chicken breasts, chicken broth, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cover with lid, bring to a boil over high heat on the stovetop, and then immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Remove and set aside. Discard the broth, celery, carrots, and garlic.
2. Meanwhile, fill a small saucepan with water and set over high heat on the stovetop. Bring to a boil, add broccoli, and cook for roughly 30-40 seconds. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl containing very cold water and ice. Chill in the “ice bath” until cooled, drain, and set aside. (KewlTip: The process described here is called “blanching.” This seemingly mysterious term can actually be boiled down – no pun intended! – to a simple definition and procedure. By quickly cooking veggies in question, in this case broccoli, in hot liquid until just slightly tender but still crispy, the vibrant color and delicious texture of your produce is preserved! Swiftly submerging the vegetables in the wintry water and ice cubes in the bowl takes the edge of the heat [literally kewling down!], stopping the precious cargo from continuing to cook!)
3. Once the chicken breasts have cooled, slice into 1 lb of medium-sized chunks.
4. In a large mixing bowl, add the chunks of chicken and mayonnaise. Mix well to distribute.
5. Add the walnuts; grapes; cooled, blanched broccoli; salt; and pepper. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
6. Assemble the sandwiches. Divide the chicken salad mixture (see Steps #4-5 above) into four equal portions. Scoop onto a slice of the bread/roll or into the pita pocket. If using bread/roll, either serve open-faced or top each sandwich with its remaining slice of bread.
7. Serve and enjoy!
Yields 4 servings.
KewlTip: Opting to spin this awesome Chicken Salad Sandwich into a kewl salad? Coming right up! Instead of reaching for the bread, use large crispy, fresh, vivid Boston butter lettuce leaves as cups. If the lettuce = your serving dish, then your salad = YUM!