It feels like it was a long time coming, but summer is finally here! And when it’s summer, I start looking for foods that require as little heating-up-the-kitchen as possible.
I thought this would be a pretty interesting take on chicken salad, with the red and green Christmas wreath-like peppers around the top and the glossy ring of wobbly chicken and mayonnaise mixture below. To be honest, I stared at the recipe for several minutes, daring myself to make it. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Surprisingly, this is a remarkably palatable chicken salad. I know! I was shocked, too! But it has a good balance of creamy and tangy and crunchy and… chicken-y? I’m especially fond of the white wine vinegar flavour from the French dressing. I just want to know the name of the jerk that said, “This is a fantastic salad, but can we make it more gelatinous?”
The recipe says I should fill the center of this mold with yet more mayonnaise, but that’s… just an awful lot of mayonnaise. Even for me. So why don’t we all just agree that I can skip that step. Deal? Deal!
Chicken Salad Mold
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 cup hot chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup cooked rice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup French dressing
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ cup mayonnaise
Combine gelatin and cold water; leave about 10 minutes to soften. Add chicken stock; stir until gelatin has melted.
Rinse mold with cold water; put in red and green peppers. Cover with 2 tablespoons melted gelatin; refrigerate until set.
Mix all ingredients except lettuce; add remaining gelatin.
When gelatin in mold is quite firm, spoon chicken mixture on top; leave until set. Unmold; serve on bet of lettuce. Fill center with mayonnaise. Yields 5 or 6 servings.
This recipe appeared in The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking, published by Weathervane Books, 1982.