Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lunch Week 20: Chicken Salad

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Chicken Salad I felt like having something served cold this week. I wasn't feeling sandwiches but still wanted protein. Then it occurred to me that I haven't had homemade chicken salad in a very long time. I like to use very flavorful chicken in my chicken salad. It makes a huge difference in the end product. I the past I've roasted my own chicken. But since I won't be eating it fresh that day, I opted for a store roasted chicken. I like to get it from Costco. They roast the whole thing for $4.99 each. It's seasoned perfectly and always comes out juicy. Once cooled, I shred the bird into bite sized strips. So much meat comes off. It's a great deal. Next, I add some chopped red onions. It gives it a nice spicy kick. Also, I add some chopped cashews. These came roasted and salted. Great nutty flavor. Lastly, I add the dressing. I like to use a combination of mayo and dijon mustard. I don't like to overdress the chicken and make it mushy. I add enough just for flavor and moisture. I like to lay down a bed of arugula first. Then add the chicken salad on top. A few whole cashews and done! The chicken is so flavorful and juicy. The dressing adds a little tang and will help hold the moisture through the week. The onion adds a nice spicy but fresh kick. And the cashews add a needed crunch to an otherwise texturally soft dish. The only thing that's missing is some fresh herbs. Some chopped tarragon would really punch this dish up. Maybe next time.

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