August 10, 2009

Queen for a Day, or two or three...

One of the things I miss about living in Ireland is the food. No, Don't laugh! It is true that Ireland is not known for it's culinary masterpieces (they do make some mean breakfasts though) but the availability of good, fresh and ready made food is pretty outstanding. France and Italy are only a hop skip and a five euro plane ticket across the waters after all. And with the influx of mainland Europeans at the time we were there, the availability of great food was growing rapidly.

I've talked before about my love for Marks and Spencer. A friend of mine once told me her mother had given up cooking altogether thanks to M and S and their pre-prepared foods. While I don't really think I could ever give up on cooking, I was a big fan of their sandwich fillings. In the deli section, right next to ready made sandwiches of the same varieties, were rows of squat containers all filled with the making for some superb sandwiches. Nothing fancy, and probably not particularly healthy, but easy and good and just the right amount to provide one person with about three days worth of sandwiches.

Today I was sitting on our stairs, delaying the moment when I would have to go up to our bedroom and face the mess that is our closet by munching on a Nutella sandwich and daydreaming about M and S and their sandwich fillings I suddenly realized that I had, roughly, the ingredients to make Coronation Chicken Salad just sitting in my fridge. Ah-ha! Another reason to not go up and sort out all those clothes.

A few days ago I roasted a whole chicken because, well, sort of just because. I wanted to test out the new oven, I was passing the chickens at our favorite place to buy meat and I thought, what the hey, it's not in the plans for meals, but you can always use some roast chicken around the house.

Now this isn't a true Coronation Chicken Salad. In fact, it's sort of a Coronation/Waldorf Salad, but it leans more toward the spirit of Coronation, so that's what I'm going to call it. I replaced chopped celery and raisins with grapes and dried cranberries because it's what I had on hand and sounded good and I added a squeeze of lemon juice for good luck, but he rest is pretty standard.

Coronation Chicken Salad

The breast and some dark meat of a roast chicken, roughly chopped
1/2 cup plus a tablespoon of mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped grapes
2 T dried cranberries
1 heaping teaspoon, maybe even two of curry powder
1 heaping tablespoon of some good chutney
pinch of salt
squirt of lemon

mix it all up and let it set in the fridge overnight (although, to be totally honest, I've already had some, and it's still good without waiting, but tomorrow it will be better!) And I'm guesing it'll keep me in sandwiches for at least three days. Umm, is it lunch time again yet?