Perfect Chicken Salad



When Rozanne Gold’s book “Recipes 1-2-3” was first published, I noticed a recipe that boasted, “once you use this method of poaching a whole chicken, you will never make it any other way, for the meat has a remarkable velvety texture. As a bonus, you can reduce the broth to use as a base for restorative chicken soup.” It added, “cut the chicken into small dice for sandwiches, julienne into long thin strips for main course salads.”

With my usual rejoinder, “We’ll see about that!” I proceeded to assemble the three necessary ingredients, as follows.

Allene White lives in Brooklin.

Perfect Chicken Salad

  • 2 ½ whole chicken
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Wash and clean the chicken. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Submerge the chicken and boil quietly, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let the chicken remain in the water for 15 minutes. Remove from water and reserve broth for another use. Pull out as many bones as possible and refrigerate chicken until cold. Remove all bones and skin. Cut chicken into ½’ chunks. Toss with celery and mayonnaise. Chill. Serves 6.

It turned out that they were right. Since 1996, when Rozanne Gold’s book “Recipes 1-2-3” first appeared, I wouldn’t think of poaching a chicken any other way. The salad is often served on a platter lined with fresh green lettuce, cherry tomatoes dotting the sides.