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Chicken Salad - Shredded or Sliced, Diced, Cubed?


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Depends.  If the chicken is being served on top of a salad as the protein portion then generally it would be sliced in my house. If I were serving chicken salad of the type that you put between two slices of bread then the chicken would be diced.   I have an issue with shredded meat of any kind so that would not happen.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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For me, the important thing about the chicken is that it not be overcooked. I like to use kosher or brined chicken. I slice the breast, cook the slices quickly in oil or butter and drain on paper towels, making sure to remove them from the pan just before they are absolutely cooked through; it will be cooked through by the time it cools. Then I don't see much difference whether I shred or dice the chicken coarsely, since it is tender either way.

 

My chicken salad is of the sandwich variety, but pretty plain: mixed with celery, a restrained amount of mayo and/or creme fraiche, a little dijon or fresh dill, salt and pepper. Or I might go in another direction and add a little curry powder. Actually curry and dill are not bad together, a combo that can be found in some Vietnamese foods. Right before eating I stir in some chopped walnuts. My latest favorite way to eat chicken salad is with some kind of chutney, whether in a sandwich or just a scoop. Right now I'm big on mango pickle.

 

Leftover roast chicken isn't my favorite thing, but I have a husband who loves it, so it doesn't go to waste.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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Baked on the bone with the skin on - salted and herbs.  When cool enough to pull off the bone I do it(save the bone and anything sticking to it for broth) then shred/ chop and mix with minced shallot or scallion, celery salt, Cain's mayonnaise and some re-plumped dried cranberries and chopped walnuts - leave the nuts out if you are putting it between bread.  We usually wrap in lettuce cups.....

Edited by suzilightning (log)
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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

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My grandmother always made chicken salad for us as kids and I try to recreate it when I have a chance - typical ingredients included:

 

- Diced pickles

- Hard boiled egg chopped

- Often Capers

- Mayo

- Sometimes dill

- Little vinegar and a touch of sugar.

 

It's amazing how taste is so closely tied to (fond) memories.

 

 

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If I'm having it as a salad, as a main , or served on a bed of greens, I like it diced. If served as a spread, whether on bread or crackers, I prefer it a bit finer, so chopped small would be more likely.  I'm not one to shred meats, don't care too much for the long fibers. 

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And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

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I'm surprised how popular shredding has turned out to be. You can't get a hand diced chicken salad at a restaurant around here, as far as I know. They all seem to shred it in a food processor. I thought it was to save labor costs, but apparently some prefer it that way. I never order it out, and when I make it I always dice it. Just a little minced celery and onion with a little mayo, salt and pepper makes it perfect for me.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I'm surprised how popular shredding has turned out to be. You can't get a hand diced chicken salad at a restaurant around here, as far as I know. They all seem to shred it in a food processor. I thought it was to save labor costs, but apparently some prefer it that way. I never order it out, and when I make it I always dice it. Just a little minced celery and onion with a little mayo, salt and pepper makes it perfect for me.

 

Perhaps I should have clarified....

 

I do not 'shred' mine in any machinery - I believe the more appropriate term for what I do is 'pulled' (as often it is white meat - we eat the dark meat and usually save the white for other uses) and can easily be pulled into long strings.

 

I agree, I do not like the idea of a processed pulp!

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1 hour ago, caroled said:

I'm not one to shred meats, don't care too much for the long fibers. 

 

I, also, absolutely HATE long stringy meat!

I chop fine for sandwich spread (the way my grandparents did it) or cubed for salad served on lettuce or the like.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

I, also, absolutely HATE long stringy meat!

I chop fine for sandwich spread (the way my grandparents did it) or cubed for salad served on lettuce or the like.

That how I learned to like it, as my grandmother made it, She had one of those large metal meat grinders that screwed onto the end of a table thru  which she put the chicken, apple, pickles ,boiled eggs,  etc... whatever the ingredients of the day were.

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And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

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Neither? I don't like long strings but it also kind of creeps me out to have neat cubes of meat in salads, so I usually cut the chicken into thick slices across the grain and then break those up by hand so I get cube-ish pieces that aren't too neat and tidy.

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Shredded or diced very fine for sandwich/lettuce cup filling. Roasted/grilled whole and cut into strips crosswise, or bite-sized cubes, for going over greens.

 

For a sandwich filling, I like mayo, halved green or red grapes (or both), toasted, slivered almonds, chopped sweet pickles and curry powder. Chopped hardboiled eggs if I rememberd to cook 'em. 

 

And never, ever, any raw onion or celery.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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Oh, for topping green leafy salads I just do thin-ish strips across the grain. (How thin depends on how lazy I'm feeling and what preparation is on the chicken - sometimes I grill chicken breast with fajita seasonings and that I slice thicker so the slightly crispy charred grill areas still stand out as a different texture.) If I don't care as much about presentation and just want easy to eat, I tear those slices in half or in thirds as I add them, so they're more bite sized. I hate having a plate of leafy stuff with a huge unwieldy chunk of chicken hanging out in the middle. You need a knife to make the chicken manageable but then you end up chopping up and crushing the greens, too. 

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in a timely  fashion , the lsat episode of A Chef's Life made some C.S. , and discussed Mayo.  they were polite and did not repeal the Mayo Results :

 

http://www.pbs.org/food/features/a-chefs-life-season-4-episode-10-mayo-mother-sauce/

 

now that fishy thingy at the end looks very interesting .  sadly , no really fresh fish in my area.   some OK fish , but not Super Ok.

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sorry try here for the complete show.  let it load before you Peek :

 

http://www.pbs.org/video/2365814984/

 

PS   I do CS  all ways .  what's extremely important is that the Ck. not be dry.

 

so I have to start w  SV chicken    sometimes just white meat , sometimes just dark , sometimes a mix

 

and they are bagged separately and SV'd in ' bulk ' and FZ  142 for the skinless / boneless / tendon less  white  3 hrs +

 

160 F  x 8 or so for the dark.  one of these days Ill try the dark at 142 for 8 and see how that goes.

 

if you start w tender , moist meat , with most of the flavor still in the meat  , even a generic supermarket chicken, that's

 

2/3 d's of the CS battle right there !  

 

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I never make chicken salad (I don't know why), but if I did, I'd definitely shred it based on the appearance of the one HungryChris posted above, I like how it blends in; it reminds me of tuna salad which is something I do make.

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