I won’t lie, I hate chicken. But every once in awhile I get a craving for chicken salad, and I inevitably make too much. Then I give it away to my neighbors! This recipe is similar to the one I made when I was a chef at the local grocery chain. It’s quick, simple, and makes A LOT.
Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad
- 3 whole chicken breasts, boneless
- 1T cumin
- 1T garlic powder
- 1/8t cayenne
- 2c water
- 1/2-1c sour cream
- 1/2-1c mayo
- 3T lemon pepper seasoning
- Salt to taste
Cook the chicken + water, cumin, garlic, and cayenne on high in your slow cooker for 4 hours or until internal temp of meat reaches 165F at the fattest part of the breast. Remove from slow cooker, shred while still hot. Cool to 40F within two hours. Once cooled, combine sour cream, mayo, chicken, and lemon pepper seasoning. Start with 1/2 c each sour cream/mayo, add more as needed to desired consistency. I like my salad a little drier because I put it on toast or on a bed of lettuce. Some folks like to dip crackers in it or put it on a wrap, and creamier chicken salad is better for those meals. Plus the chicken will absorb some overnight, and it’s better to have dry chicken salad and add more mayo than to have chicken mayo soup! Salt to taste and enjoy!
I had an abundance of fresh produce that was about to turn, so I decided to use it all up in one meal. I went with pasta, as it lends itself to many different flavors and textures, and is very simple to make.
First, I cooked the pasta and set it aside. I used radiatori so that the ridges on the noodles would catch all the tasty goodness of the vegetables. Next, I chopped up tomatoes, red peppers, and banana peppers, and then I added a heaping spoonful of minced garlic. I tossed those into the pot I used for boiling the pasta, added a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, and sauteed until the tomatoes were just starting to break down. At this point I added some sliced black olives and a green onion. I didn’t want those to get cooked too much, which is why I added them near the end. Finally I put the pasta back into the pot and stirred everything together for a few minutes, until the pasta was heated through. I served it with a huge hunk of crusty garlic bread and a sprinkling of parmesan. Even JI, Mr. Picky, enjoyed the meal!
You can add chicken to the dish if you’re into that kind of thing, or you can eliminate the cheese if you want to make it vegan. There are tons of options for this dish!
Last night, I opened the meat drawer in the fridge, and there was three pounds of raw, whole chicken wings just chillin’ in their little packages. I thought it was two pounds, then I saw that each package was 1.48#. Okay, so, if you don’t know me, I hate chicken with bones. Every once in a while (as in, every couple of years) I’ll crave fried chicken or bone-in wings, but I generally stay away from chicken. I will eat nuggets or patties, as long as they are heavily processed. I had a traumatic chicken incident when I was eleven… it ruined me forever.
Anyway, because I hate chicken so much, I rarely buy it. We eat a lot of pork and beef, or meatless meals. JI won’t even eat chicken unless it is in nugget form! Thus I was very surprised to see three pounds of raw chicken in my fridge, especially since I don’t remember buying them!
Well they had to be eaten, since I wasn’t sure when I had bought them but it had been at least 5 days. So I busted out the deep fryer and cooked the shit out of those wings. To go with them, because I hadn’t breaded them or marinated them or anything, I made some “bang-bang” sauce. I don’t really know why it’s called that, but apparently a restaurant somewhere has “Bang-Bang Shrimp” (which I’ve made before) and people go nuts over it. I don’t know if my sauce is comparable to that sauce, but I do know that it is freakin’ delicious. Yum and yum.
Bang-Bang Sauce (for two people/3# wings for dipping)
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/8 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- Generous squirt Sriracha (to taste)
Combine all ingredients, mix well til no mayo lumps remain.