Published July 1, 1997.
Roasted chicken breasts and hand-shredding deliver a superb salad.
When making this classic version from scratch, and not from leftover meat, how should we cook the chicken?
A chicken salad in which the chicken itself actually tastes good--not bland or waterlogged.
To perfect the chicken that would go into our salad, 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. Chicken cooked in a microwave also had that wet-cooked taste. True roast chicken was another matter. Even after the flavorful skin and bones were removed, the meat tasted roasted, and the resulting chicken salad was superb.list of recipes