Sunday, May 10, 2015

Italian Chicken Salad

It's no secret that I love southern food or that I love Kentucky, obviously, so it just makes sense that I also love Damaris Phillips' show, Southern at Heart, on Food Network.  She is so fun, bubbly and full of energy and her personality really shines through on her show.  Her recipes though. She takes basic concepts and then southernizes them. A couple of weeks ago she used stewed tomatoes in a caprese salad. Who would have thought of that? I'm sure there are plenty of Italians rolling their eyes but to this Kentuckian it sounds fantastic and yes, I will be making it.  For now though, I am all about her Fried Chicken Salad that she made last season. Sometimes I obsess over it. The flavors are so bright, yet creamy and light. There's a crunch from the celery and the burst of flavor from the green onions. Simply put, it is delicious. There aren't a bunch of complex flavors going on, competing with each other. It's just simple goodness where all the ingredients work together.

Now that I have said all of that, I feel I need to share my one grievance with this dish. It's called Fried Chicken Salad. Clearly it is made with fried chicken but it's a recipe that was created for leftover fried chicken. Leftover fried chicken? This is a foreign concept to me. Oh wait. One time, there was leftover fried chicken after my baby cousin Hope's birthday party. Coincidentally, that just happened to be the first time I made this recipe. The other times, I went out and purchased chicken at the grocery store specifically to make this salad. 

Confession time: I have never made fried chicken. It's on my bucket list (most people's bucket lists contain places they want to go.  My bucket list contains food I wish to master cooking) and I have every intention of getting around to it--eventually. 

Italian Chicken Salad

Adapted from Damaris Phillips

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

2 pieces of grilled chicken, cubed
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon 
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, buttermilk, mustard, Rosemary, basil, thyme, zest and juice of lemon. Mix in celery, green onion and chicken. 

Serve on a bed of your favorite greens.