Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jake Slagle's Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is to my palate the best in existence. More years back than need be acknowledged, it was a quite similar chicken salad that I'd prepared from an old Maryland recipe which led me to embrace cooking and food as a lifetime hobby. Though very special, it's also very basic and as great for having around during the Holidays as it is for packing a picnic any time of year. Its secret lies in cooking the chicken to a precise level of doneness, using half the chicken's skin along with its white and dark meat, then subtly sharpening with cayenne. Here's the technique


1 Whole stewing chicken
1 Bunch celery
2 Hard boiled eggs, sliced

Bring enough water to cover chicken to a boil. Add chicken and celery tops. Return to boil, then simmer at close to boiling point, ten minutes for each pound. Let cool in broth. Remove chicken and disjoint, removing all meat from bones. Cut up white meat in fairly large pieces, dice dark meat in small pieces, and also cut the skin into small pieces. Mix together. Cut into small pieces half as much celery as you have chicken meat. Mix with chicken and strew salt and cayenne over all, then add mayonnaise, lifting and mixing. Use plenty of mayonnaise to coat every piece of chicken and celery. Place salad in a large bowl and garnish with sliced hard-boiled egg.