Divinely Deconstructed Chicken Salad

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

Salad of chicken and kiwi on tablecloth

Since I was a kid, I have been the type of person that has never believed in the phrases “You or I can’t…”  If anything, anytime someone has said it to me, it sparks a fire inside and I have to prove them wrong.  There is nothing that you can’t accomplish if you put your mind to it.  This probably one of the most important lessons we have tried to teach our kids.

I remember, about 10 years ago, Danny and I were dining with friends at  a new, upscale restaurant in Philadelphia.  The menu was chock full of deconstructed dishes, where honestly, none of them sounded appetizing.  Needless to say, we all ordered from the normal dishes on the menu, but did have a great conversation about the, then, current food trend of deconstructing classic dishes.

Upon returning home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how unappetizing all of the deconstructed dishes seemed.  I knew that there had to be a way work within the concept of deconstruction, yet keep the original flavor profiles intact.  A spark was ignited and the challenge began.

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts, Boneless
  • 2 Large, Russet Potatoes, Diced Medium
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth, Low Sodium
  • 4 Eggs, Boiled
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, Cut in half and Sliced
  • 8 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped Medium
  • 2 Large Pickles, Chopped Medium and Drained
  • 4 Cold Kiwis, Peeled and Sliced
  • 3  Stalks of Celery, Chopped Medium
  • 6 Tbs. Fresh Dill, Chopped Fine
  •  2 Tbs. Chives, Chopped Medium
  • 2 Tsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped Medium
  • 4 Tbs. Cracked  Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp. Paprika
  • 2 Tsp. Dry Mustard Powder
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Salt

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut your onion in half (setting one half aside) and then the other half into slices.  Then peel all your garlic and chop 1/2 of  your cloves, and setting aside.  The other half that is unpeeled will go directly into the water with the potatoes.
  3. Chop your herbs and set them aside.  Keeping them separated into small piles on a plate.
  4. Take your chicken breasts and place into a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. dry mustard, your parsley, 3 tbs. dill, 1 tbs. chives and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper.  Place into a greased baking dish and roast on the center rack of the oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and done through. Tip: Done for a chicken breast is 165 degrees when a meat thermometer is placed into the center of the breast at its thickest point.
  5. Peel and cut our potatoes into small cubes.  Place into a medium pot with your chicken broth, whole garlic cloves and half of your onion (that is unsliced).  Boil over medium heat until tender.  With a slotted spoon fish out the onion and garlic and then drain the potatoes in a colander.  Set aside your potatoes in a small bowl.  Add the remaining dill, keeping about 1/2 tsp. aside for finishing.  Toss your potatoes and dill and set aside momentarily.
  6. While your potatoes are cooking, place your 4 eggs into a small pot and cover with water.  Over high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and cook  for 6 minutes. After 6 Minutes, take your pot to the sink and run cold water into it and let the water run for a couple of minutes to cool down your eggs.  Once cooled, peel your eggs and chop into small/medium chunks.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. In a small skillet, add a touch of olive oil and your chopped celery.  Sprinkle with salt and a pinch of cracked peppercorns.  Cook over medium-high heat until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Take your 4 Kiwis out of the refrigerator (you want to keep them cold as it makes them easier to peel.  Peel your kiwis with a pairing knife and cut into slices.  Set aside.
  9. Once your roasted chicken is done, remove from the oven and let set a few minutes to reabsorb its juices.  Then make sure to remove the onions and chop into medium size chunks.
  10. To plate, your first need to take a yogurt container and cut the bottom off.  Use as a plating ring.  Spray the inside of the newly made plating ring with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the ring in the middle of your plate and start layering your ingredients.  Starting two the chicken and finishing with the sliced kiwis.  Gently press down when done to ensure that your tower will stand once the ring is removed.  With a spatula, hold down the deconstructed chicken salad while you gently pull the ring upwards, twisting slightly as you do so that you keep your salad in tact.
  11. Sprinkle with a few pieces of dill.
  12. Serve and enjoy.

 

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