Shredded Chicken Salad with Sherry Dressing
Prepare this dish using a chicken that you roasted yourself, or to save time, purchase a rotisserie chicken, available at most supermarkets. Here, shreds of roasted chicken partner with tender spring onions and watercress greens in a seasonal salad. If you can find fresh English peas, which begin to appear in markets in early spring, use them in place of the frozen peas (shell them first and then blanch according to the recipe directions).
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 Tbs. dry sherry
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 2 green onions, including tender green portions, chopped
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh English peas or frozen petite peas
- 1 roasted chicken, about 4 lb. (see related recipe at left)
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch young, tender watercress, tough stems removed
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces
To make the dressing, in a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sherry, soy sauce and green onions. Puree until smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the dressing to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The dressing can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
Bring a small saucepan half full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain the peas and refresh them under cold running water. Let drain completely.
Remove the skin from the roasted chicken and discard. Using your fingers, pull the meat from the bones and shred the meat into bite-size pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken meat, celery, watercress, walnuts and peas. Add the dressing and stir to coat the salad evenly. Divide the salad among chilled individual plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Make it a meal: This hearty salad can be served as a main dish alongside a bowl of soup. Or, transform the salad into a sandwich for your next picnic lunch—simply omit the walnuts and spoon the salad between slices of French or sourdough bread.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining with the Seasons (Free Press, 2010).