Monday, June 2, 2008

Chicken Salad in a Pineapple Boat

When I was about 13 years old, I had the opportunity to go along with some family friends to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. It was the one and only time I've been. I had always remembered going to this tropical jungle area. We watched a Tahitian show with fire dancers and there were Toucans and Parrots all around with lots of tropical plants. I ordered a chicken salad for my meal and it came served in a half of a pineapple. I was in heaven. It was the loveliest thing I had ever seen, and something my mother had never served. I have never forgotten about that salad. Recently my husband came home with a whole ripe pineapple and that Disneyland memory was the first thing that came to my mind. I happened to have everything I needed to make a nice chicken salad so here is what I did:

Cut a ripe pineapple in half lengthwise, leaving the beautiful tops attached. Hollow out by cutting out the pineapple in chunks and wedges, leaving the outer shell intact.

Chop 2 cooked boneless chicken breasts into small chunks. (I cooked mine by boiling for 20 minutes on medium heat. I added some of the pineapple juices and ginger to the cooking water.)

Chop about 1-1/2 cups pineapple into small pieces. Add chicken, some mayonnaise, toasted sliced almonds, finely chopped celery, chopped scallions, a handful of crispy chow mein noodles, salt, pepper, parsely, dried mustard, and a little tarragon. Mix well, adjusting mayo and seasonings as needed.

Finely shred some romaine lettuce and make a bed in the bottom of the hollowed pineapple. Spoon the chicken onto the lettuce and mound up in pineapple boat. Sprinkle with paprika.

We each ate one half, which is what I was served at Disneyland. Two could probably share one half easily. Try adding other fruits, nuts, and seasonings.

No comments: