Sunday, August 1, 2010

'Chicken' Salad Sandwich

Chicken salad is something I've missed since being a vegetarian. I don't know why, particularly, because as a child, chicken was repetitive and mayo repulsive (in my humble 10 year old opinion). Maybe it brings back memories of summers spent with family and friends. In particular I remember a chicken salad recipe by the great D family that included red grapes. Since then the D's have introduced lots of novel ideas into the lives of many a grateful Marylander, and we're blessed to have them in our lives. At the time, however, such novel ideas about fruit in savory lunch salads was exotic.

And why do I have such vivid memories of one day in Bluff Point eating this salad? I think small food experiences like this, and many others along the way, have really expanded my appreciation for food. (The D's also make notoriously good wild rice, chocolate mousse, Irish soda bread, and brie with figs, mmmmm....) In any case, I had a craving, and ran out to get some soy substitute. The same brand that makes textured soy that resembles beef makes a white version that resembles chicken. Every chick gets to fake it every once in a while, right?

I don't have the original D family recipe here, but I deliver a recipe that worked well enough for me :)

2 cups dry 'soijasuikaleet'
2 cups chicken broth
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/4 cup diced scallions, green parts included
3/4 cup mayonaise
1 tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley, dill or tarragon (optional)
1/2 cup halved red grapes (optional but recommendable!)

1.) Boil the chicken broth, add the soy and stir, or continue boiling, until the water has been absorbed by the soy. Since textured soy brands vary quite often, I might even suggest adding the boiling hot broth slowly to the soy until the soy has absorbed as much liquid as possible (since some will have less absorbency than others). Since the soy I used comes in larger strips, after absorbing the hot liquid, I allow it to cool and then dice into smaller pieces for this.
2.) Add the rest of the ingredients and the soy 'chicken' in a bowl.
3.) Eat this by the spoonful or on a sandwhich, however you like.

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