There are days when you feel like trying something new, and then there are days when you just hit the stove and mindlessly assemble a meal that you have already made a million times before. It seems that trying something new takes a lot longer, but it’s mostly because you have to be “mindful”, be in the moment and pay extra attention to every single step of the process. That makes it seem as if time is going by more slowly, even though it probably doesn’t take that much longer. However, when pressed for time, with little room for taking on any challenges, I resort to making a “mindless” meal, like this Mediterranean Chicken Salad. It’s a recipe from Carmel, like so many other yummy recipes we have on our site, and it is a true crowd-pleaser. Come and (mindlessly) cook with us!
Admittedly, I am not necessarily a big fan of chicken, although it lends itself to a great variety of delicious one-pot-meals that have a distinctive feel-good element to them. Be it hot or cold, poached, grilled or baked, in the form of chicken Marbella, chicken soup or roasted chicken, there is so much you can do with it (and with its left-overs, too).
I guess what it comes down to is how deeply I care about where my chicken comes from. While I still have mouth-watering memories from digging into a rotisserie chicken at the summer fair back home when I was a child (we called it Wiesenfest which, translated, stands for meadow fair), I am quite selective nowadays. Today’s chicken just doesn’t always taste that “flash”. So, when I’m not lucky enough to find an organic chicken vendor at the farmer’s market, I resort to a Certified Organic chicken which means that the animal was raised by USDA standards that include no antibiotics, access to the outdoors (although the birds may be confined) and 100% organic feed. Other label options include Free Range (not necessarily organic, but access to the outdoors), Natural (chickens are minimally processed after slaughter with no flavors, colors, preservatives or brines added during processing), Kosher (conventionally raised and processed according to Jewish dietary law with additional salting which enhances flavor and texture) and Air-Chilled (which takes longer to process than birds chilled in water, but seems to result in a less diluted flavor and crisper skin).
What I like about this Mediterranean Poached Chicken Salad recipe, apart from its straightforwardness and also delicious flavor combinations, is that the chicken is poached, which usually yields juicy and tasty meat suited perfectly for tacos, salads and sandwiches. And it lends itself to being made in larger batches. If you are looking to donate a salad to a pot-luck or buffet dinner, this is one recipe to keep in mind . . . mindlessly. Come and cook with us!
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