Thursday, June 26, 2014

6/26/14 ChefElla's Artichoke Chicken Salad

One of my secrets, is that I am always trying to make my favorite recipes a little better for me.  This does not mean that everything I make is completely free of fats, sugars, gluten, oil, or full of antioxidants, vitamins, lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables.  I just try to keep my recipes balanced, and even if I change one thing for the better I know I am taking a step in the right direction.  For this recipe, I took my favorite chicken salad, and took out one ingredient, mayo.  I know you are all saying, "How can it be chicken salad without the mayo?"  I say, "Just try my recipe," and you will see.  This week when you are making one of your favorite recipes, try to change one thing, or use a little less of an ingredient to make it a little healthier for your family or friends.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife.  If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    a blender or cuisinart,  a large bowl, a strainer, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Artichoke Chicken Salad (This recipe will make 4-6 servings)
1 lb.            Chicken, Cooked
                   -For my chicken salad I buy a cooked rotisserie chicken from the store.  I let the chicken
                   cool down, I remove the skin, and I pick the meat from the bones for the salad.
1 Can         Artichokes, Drained (15 oz Can)
                   -You can buy the least expensive kind or brand.
1 Can         Diced Water Chestnuts, Drained  (8 oz Can)
1/4 Cup     White or Sweet Vidalia Onion (1/4 of a small onion)
1/2 Cup     Celery, Small Diced (2 small or 1 large stalk)
                  -Wash celery stalk.  Cut brown ends off of celery.  Cut celery in half lengthwise.  Cut each
                  half of celery lengthwise again.  You can continue to do this until the pieces are as thin as
                  you want them.  Chop the celery stalks into small pieces.  The thinner the celery is cut, the
                  smaller the pieces will be when you chop them.
1/4 Cup     Italian Parsley, remove leaves from the stems. (Not a packed cup the leaves should be loose)
                  -Italian parsley is also called flat leaf parsley.  Regular parsley is called curly parsley.
3 Tbl.         Olive Oil
1/2 tsp       Lemon Juice
1 tsp           Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp       Black Pepper
1/4 tsp       Garlic Powder
1/4 Cup      Red Pepper, Small Diced
1/4 Cup      Walnuts, Chopped    
3. Chop up chicken into bite sized pieces.  Chop up onions, celery, and mince parsley, keep separate.
    Drain Artichokes and Water Chestnuts.
4. Add artichokes, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic to the blender.  Puree
    ingredients into a paste.  There should be no lumps.  If the ingredients will not blend add one
    tablespoon of water.
5. Add all of the ingredients to your mixing bowl and mix well.
6. Let chicken salad cool and serve.

Serve as a sandwich, wrapped in a tortilla, or in a lettuce cup.

- ChefElla

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