Rich's Chicken Salad Sunrise


Thanks Bro!


Ingredients:

2-3 Lb. Boneless Chicken Breast.
1 Cup Celery, cut diagonally.
1/2 Cup Red Onion, small dice.
8 oz Raisins, black, golden, or a mixture.
8 oz Cashews or other nuts.
1/3 to 1 gram fresh Saffron
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Cup Chicken Stock or Water
Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1/2 lb pasta, cooked al dente' (I use bow ties)
1 Large red or green Bell Pepper, fine julienne.
1 Tbs. Fresh Thyme or Mint (or about 1tsp of dried leaves)
3 Cups mayonnaise, either homemade or a quality brand like Hellmann's or Kraft
Chopped Chives or Green Onions for Garnish
1 Cup Brandy or Bourbon (optional)


Preparation:

1. Pound the chicken breasts lightly so that they are of an even thickness (~1/2 ") and then grill over a hot flame, marking well, but being careful not to overcook. Refrigerate to cool. When the chicken is cool, cut into 1/2" cubes.

2. As an option, soak the raisins in the brandy or bourbon for an hour. Drain, reserving the liquid.

3. Combine chicken stock or water, olive oil, and vinegar. If you used brandy or bourbon for the raisins, add about 1 tbs. of the reserved liquid as well. The amount of saffron that you will need will vary greatly with the purity and freshness. With this method, having too weak a mixture will be more of a problem than too strong a mixture. Chop the saffron threads very finely. Add the saffron to the stock mixture and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup in volume, and then cool. Mix this liquid into the mayo. The color should be a fairly bright, but not a totally alarming yellow (more than a legal pad, but less than a taxi). If the color and flavor seem too strong, just add more mayo.

4. Gently mix the diced chicken, drained raisins, celery, onion, bell pepper, and thyme or mint in a large bowl.

5. Fold the saffron mayo into the salad, whatever amount looks good to you. Add salt and pepper to taste. It's best if you can let the flavors meld overnight The nuts are best added about 1 hr. before serving so that they don't become too soggy. The left over bourbon or brandy can be used for deglazing sautéed foods. It's especially good when used for pork, game, or poultry. Of course you can also guzzle it as an after dinner drink!


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