Published July 1, 1997.
To perfect our chicken salad recipe so that our chicken actually tasted good, not bland or waterlogged, we tried wet cooking methods, including poaching and steaming, roasting in foil (which is similar to steaming), and, in a method new to us, dropping the chicken into simmering aromatic water and then removing the pot from the heat and letting the chicken and water cool to room temperature. Unfortunately, all four methods produced a bland, unmistakably boiled flavor. True roast chicken was another matter. Even after the flavorful skin and bones were removed, the meat tasted roasted, and the resulting chicken salad recipe was superb.