Feb 5, 2008

Cilantro Yogurt Chicken Salad

Roasted another chicken with tastier results than Coq au Vin. Tried a method I came across in Joy of Cooking of all places. I say of all places because the cookbooks I like to drool over are rarely classics like this. Then again, it's not really classic to me. I'd much rather be flipping the pages and dreaming about making Turkish Imam Bayildi, varieties of Arabic muajeenot, Lebanese moussaka tabek batenghen, Mexican calabacitas, Thai varieties of Nam Phrik, Indian rogan jhosh...I have to stop myself. Even my love of Indian food and Indian cookbooks just wouldn't allow me to bring home from the library an Indian-French fusion cookbook. Once I saw all the photos of tiny shapes of food stacked high on top of one another, I had to put it back on the shelf. That's not the Indian food I want to make or eat.

But I opened Joy of Cooking simply to get a temp and time for roasting chicken. In the meantime I read that roasting the bird on its side allows for the darker meat to reach it's higher cooking temp while leaving the breast meat facing the cooler part of the oven (and hopefully staying moister). So I shoved several cloves of bruised garlic under the skin and then plenty of rosemary and tarragon and celery salt under there too. Rubbed the whole thing with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. Then I simply laid the chicken on its side in the pan. Half way through the 75 minutes recommended by Joy, I flipped it onto the other side. That was some really good chicken. Not so sure the breast meat was moist but it was pretty tasty. The rest of it, though, was divine. Joy calls it turned roasted chicken and that's the method for us from now on.

For the chicken salad I used about 2 1/2 cups roast chicken, cubed and pulled. To that I added
  • half a bunch cilantro
  • non-fat, plain yogurt, as much to make the dressing the consistency you desire
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, diced or minced or crushed
  • 2 heavy tbsps shallot, diced
  • 1 tsp deli brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • few shakes garlic powder
I mixed all of these ingredients together and seasoned with coarse salt to taste.

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