3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (preferably free range)
2 russet potatoes, peeled
0.5 large vidalia (sweet) onion, cut into chunks
0.75 cup mayonnaise (i prefer duke’s sandwich relish)
1 tablespoon plain yellow mustard
3 kosher dill pickle slivers, finely diced
lightly toasted pita bread or barbari
listening to: andy – khoshkela bayad beraghsand
i love it when i’m gifted the same recipe in multiple ways . . . it means i can combine everything i liked about each into one recipe to rule them all (pardon my nerdiness—i’ve recently reinvigorated my love for tolkien).
let me begin by saying that i’m not actually a fan of mayonnaise; in fact, until tabi (one of my besties) began forcing me to eat it on many atypical things (like pizza), i avoided it much like a trip to the dentist. i don’t know what it is about mayo that forever singed my memory, but it’s been a task to bring myself to reintroduce it into my cooking, and recipes like this one really make me grateful for tabi and her love of mayonnaise.
salad olivieh is actually the persian version (look, ma – i rhymed!) of a russian recipe. in my mind, it’s one of the best ways to prepare chicken salad that i’ve ever encountered. my incomparable mother-in-law will throw just about anything into the mix: apples, olives, almonds, eggs, relish, celery, etc. any of those ingredients are delicious, but i strongly suggest that you master the tried and true original. with some warm barbari or pita bread and a light salad, you will have an amazing dinner in virtually no time at all.
i begin by cutting the chicken breasts and the peeled potatoes into equal sized, 1 inch cubes. boil a pot of lightly salted water on the stove and gently add the chicken and potato cubes into it. let them cook for approximately 15 minutes . . . you want the potato cubes to be fork-tender. drain them and throw them back into their cooking pot to help remove as much of the water as possible. now, toss them into a food processor and chop them until they are minced but not completely pulverized. chicken mush is a no-no. there should still be separate and distinct pieces of chicken and potato. empty the chicken and potato mixture into a large mixing bowl.
now, take the vidalia onion chunks and pulverize them in the food processor. unlike the chicken, the onions should be as fine as possible. mush is good, in this case. throw the onion puree atop the chicken/potatoes before proceeding onto the next step.
add 0.75 cup of mayo (again, i really do think duke’s sandwich relish is the best), 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard, the finely diced pickles (kosher dill style, stay the eff away from the bread and butter variety, s’il vous plait), and mix everything together!
finally, give it a taste! i like adding a bit of pepper, but this is entirely up to you.
serve it alongside some toasted bread. my personal favorite is persian barbari, but pita will work in a pinch.