Some recipes I should have posted a long time ago — Chicken Salad, Whole Wheat Waffles, and Cranberry Tea Loaf

These are some recipes I should have posted a while ago — in the case of the chicken salad recipe, I’ve had people asking about that quite a while now.

And in more general news, I am going to start try and posting at least once a week. I’ll start with Tuesdays, where I’ll try to post something about food or beverages every Tuesday. (Between all the reading I do and the cooking, I should be able to come up with at least one food-related post per week!!!!)

Anyway, on to the recipes!!!

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“Healthy” Chicken Salad

This recipe is a very highly modified version of the Chicken Salad recipe that appears in the New Best Recipe cookbook from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.

It’s proved to be so popular here at home that usually when I make it, it’s in very large quantities. The last time I made it, I either weighed out or measured all of the ingredients as I added them. But as you can see, it winds up being a very large recipe.

So I’m going to list the ingredients and amounts, and then in the instructions I’ll explain how to mix it up in smaller batches. Fresh ingredients and a good balance of flavors are what makes this recipe work.

  • Diced cooked chicken meat — see note on what cuts to buy and how to cook it — 35 oz
  • Chopped celery — 36 oz
  • Chopped fresh parsley, either curly or Italian — 7.3 oz
  • Lemon juice — can be ReaLemon, or fresh squeezed, usely slightly less if fresh squeezed — 3/4 cup
  • Flax seed — 1 cup
  • Poultry Seasoning blend — 4 tsp
  • Poppy seed — 2 Tbsp
  • Ground Chipotle chili powder — 1 tsp
  • Light mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip or other salad dressing!!!) — 7 cups

The preferred chicken meat for this is bone-in skin-on chicken breasts. Lined a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil, place the chicken breasts on the foil, lightly glaze with olive oil and just a touch of salt and pepper, and cook at 400 or 425 F until either the skin is golden brown or a meat thermometer reads at least 160 F. You can go as high as 180 F internal temperature and they’ll still be fine, so err on the side of caution. No one likes undercooked chicken meat.

The amount of meat I used in this batch came from an economy pack of six bone-in skin-on chicken breasts. If you can’t find bone-in skin-on (which sometimes the stores don’t carry), you can use boneless skinless. It won’t taste quite as good, but if you need to use boneless skinless chicken breasts, brown them in olive oil and then steam until cooked.

You can use dark chicken meat if you’d like, but the chicken taste will be even less strong.

Once you have the chicken meat cooked, cooled, and either finely chopped or shredded, put it in a large bowl. Add enough chopped celery that it looks like about even proportions of chicken meat and celery, and mix.

Chop about 1/2-2/3 as much fresh parsley as celery, and add that too. Mix, and about 1/2-2/3 of the lemon juice you think you will need.

Taste the mixture at this point. What you are going for is a celery crunch and good balance between the lemon and parsley flavors. At this point, the lemon and parsley flavors will seem almost too strong — this is good, the mayonnaise will mellow them.

Add in the flax seeds and poppy seeds and mix. These will add more texture and crunch.

Mix in the light mayonnaise. You can use a bit less and make it a bit chunkier salad, or you can use more mayonnaise and make it creamier.

Now add the spices. The poultry seasoning is a fairly strong flavor, and the chipotle is really strong, so start with a light touch and add more as you mix and try it. I personally like a really strongly flavored salad with just a hint of heat and smoke (which the chipotle brings), but it’s up to you.

This salad will keep for four or five days in the refrigerator, although a week is pushing it. My favorite way to eat it is on top of toasted sourdough bread.

As large as that recipe above is, it will last in our house maybe four days, at the most. This is a really popular dish.

I call it a healthy chicken salad because, aside from all the mayonnaise, this salad actually has a lot of fiber, vegetables, vitamins, and fiber.

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Whole Wheat Waffles

I got this recipe from my dad’s cousin Wayne Huffmon. He made this for my father and I when we visited Wayne and his wife Joyce last fall. Delicious!

It is a bit noisy though. Make sure you have a blender that can run at high speed for a full minute and regular speed for about four minutes.

  • 1 cup whole wheat berries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermik or sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Optional — a little bit of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Optional — 1/4-1/2 tsp salt

Blend the wheat berries and milk in the blender for a full minute at high speed.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend are regular speed for four minutes.

Use like you would regular waffle batter.

For pancakes — Instead of two eggs, use 1 egg and 1/3 cup oil.

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Cranberry Tea Loaf

One of the very few recipes I’ve found that actually uses brewed tea as an ingredient in baked goods. You can use regular black tea, or flavored black tea — a little bit of the flavor will come through.

This recipe is a slightly modified version of the one that appeared in the “Singing Gardener” column on the back page of the December 2009 issue of Grain News magazine.

  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • 4 bags of black tea
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 1-minute oatmeal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Optional — 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a regular loaf pan.

Steep the tea for at least five minutes (or longer) in the 1-1/2 cups hot water. (The water must be hot enough to brew tea with.) Take out the tea bags and cool the tea.

Mix the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, soda, salt, walnuts, and cranberries in a bowl.

In another bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. No, there’s not a lot of butter, so it won’t cream that well, but do the best you can. Once creamed, add in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add in the cooled tea and mix again. It will be a very thin mixture at this point.

Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and mix until just moistened. Pour into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean — this usually takes an hour of baking, maybe more.

Variation — you can add up to three cups of chopped cranberries, instead of one cup, without any problems except it will fill the loaf pan a bit more and extend the cooking time a bit.

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