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Spring Salads: Chicken and Carrot

April 3, 2010

These are two separate salad’s I’m talking about here, people!

I made Orangette‘s french carrot salad last week and it was sooo delicious! I brought it to work every day last week and it was so fresh and crisp. It went perfectly with peanut butter banana bread sandwiches. 🙂 I made more again tonight, but decided not to peel the carrots. I’ve read that there is actually no reason to peel carrots these days because they are so thoroughly washed. BUT, I don’t like the black marks on the peel, so I usually peel them. I know it makes little or no difference in taste, but I just feel it looks nicer and fresher without the black stripey bits.

I do make a few changes to Orangette’s recipe. I do not own a mandoline slicer, but don’t want to shred my fingers on the box grater. So I just shred the carrots until there are about two inches of carrot left. Then I slice the carrot ends in half lengthwise, then put them cut side down and thinly slice lengthwise from the top down. THEN, because I am anal and like really skinny matchsticks, I cut the slices again into teensy tiny little matchsticks. Tossed with the shredded, there’s enough shredded carrot to soak up the dressing and enough matchsticks to add enough crunch.

I also like to make chicken salad. I poach my chicken or just use leftovers. Today I used all the frozen chicken in my freezer – four legs and a whole bird – and poached them in a mixture of chicken broth (I had about a third of a box left) and water. Poach over low heat until chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone (or falling apart, if you’re using boneless. Then I just remove the meat from the bones (skin removed, too), shred, and add enough mayo to moisten, plus a little salt and pepper and a tablespoon of yellow mustard (or dijon). I normally add chopped celery, but I’m all out. I like to add a little green onion, too, but the boy likes his chicken salad plain so I made it that way.

I’ve also got a big English cucumber I’m debating what to do with. I think I’ll have some on my sandwich tonight, but I might make Scandinavian cucumber dill salad later in the week. As soon as I get the interpretive plan done, that is! One more week and it’s due!

I also start at my new job on Monday, which I’m really excited about. Have to finish up an exhibit at my old workplace as part of my contract work next weekend. We hauled around 19th century iron machinery today. Man was that stuff heavy! Luckily the boy came prepared with his tool box, plenty of rope, pulleys, and his Jeep with a hitch we used to pull a hay rack to move artifacts around. We definitely got a workout, that’s for sure.

Luckily, today was absolutely gorgeous out. Sunny and warm with cool breezes. It got up to at least 80 today, but was dry and breezy, so it didn’t feel hot at all. When we got home, I took a nice hot shower (we were also cleaning a positively filthy/dusty exhibit), shaved my legs (and cut my ankle something terrible in the process), and put on a little cotton dress.  Tonight after dinner the boy and I are going to go drop off (likely overdue) library books and then maybe walk to go get ice cream. 🙂 Can’t waste this gorgeous weather!

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