Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chicken Salad with Orange, Fennel, and Cranberries

I love fennel. Love it raw. Love it cooked. Love the seeds. So it drives me a little crazy when people say they hate it. Especially people that have never actually eaten it. I feed it to my personal chef clients and dinner party clients often, and almost always the response is positive.

It is often mislabeled at the market as 'anise'. They are actually two different plants. Anise is typically only used for it's seeds, while fennel bulbs, fronds, and seeds are all used. Similar flavor profile, but different none the less.

Fennel is one nutritious, delicious vegetable. Crunchy and refreshing raw, and delicious in a totally different way when cooked.

Fresh tarragon also echoes the flavor profile, so it is a natural addition to this chicken salad. I adapted the recipe from one in Cuisine at Home magazine. It's a fantastic magazine with no advertisements.

Chicken Salad with Orange, Fennel, and Cranberries

Yield about 5 cups

1/2 c olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 c Greek Yogurt
2 T fresh orange juice
zest of half an orange
1 cooked rotisserie chicken, cooled slightly, meat removed from carcass and shredded
1 c diced seedless grapes (red for color, but green if that's what you have handy)
1 c fresh fennel bulb, diced
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted (sub pecans, if desired)
2 T chopped fennel fronds
1 T chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 c orange flavored dried cranberries (I used Trader Joes) (sub dried cherries, if desired)
Mini rolls or butter lettuce leaves for serving

Whisk mayo, yogurt, oj and zest in large bowl. Add chicken, fennel, grapes, tarragon, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and check seasoning. Add nuts before serving.

Serve in mini-rolls or butter lettuce leaf cups for a light luncheon or appetizer. Or serve in hollowed out orange shells for a fancier presentation (and low-carb).

Keeps in frig up to three days.

1 comment:

  1. Tami, I've made this salad and I agree, it's delicious. Don't think I put dried cranberries in mine, but will do that next time. Great picture.


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