Poached chicken, green bean & basil mayonnaise salad

by Emma on March 30, 2011

in What's For Dinner?

I always thought of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine to have recipes that would be too complicated and time-consuming to whip up on a weeknight. After flicking through one sipping my tea one morning I found a special on 30-minute mid-week meals – Perfect! I will dare say turn to them for more menu ideas in the future, after my debut Gourmet Traveller recipe success.

This recipe stuck out to me in particular because of the range of flavours within the ingredients. It was either be incredible or be terribly wrong. Luckily, Gourmet Traveller know what they are talking about and it turned out to be a household hit. And to celebrate the return of the AFL season, my cousin and I sat down to enjoy double helpings of this divine salad and a glass of vino.

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Poached chicken, green bean & basil mayonnaise salad

1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
3 skinless chicken breasts (about 250g each)
60g walnuts
250g baby green beans
200g red grapes
2 witlof, leaves separated
100g watercress sprigs (I used baby spinach and rocket)
crusty white bread, to serve

Basil mayonnaise
2 1/2  cups (loosely packed) basil
2 eggs
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
150ml olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice, or to taste

Preheat over to 180 degrees C. Bring stock to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken, simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool in stock (20-25 minutes). Just before serving, coarsely shred chicken. Reserve stock for another use.

Meanwhile, scatter walnuts over an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool then coarsely chop.

Meanwhile, for basil mayonnaise, blanch basil in boiling salted water until bright green (30 seconds), drain, refresh, drain again and squeeze out excess water. Process basil, yolks, vinegar and mustard in a food processor until well combined, then, with motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream. Season to taste and adjust consistency with lemon juice and a little warm water until a thick drizzling consistency.

Blanch baby green beans in boiling salted water until bright green (1-2 minutes), refresh, drain and combine with remaining ingredients, chicken and walnuts in a large bowl, drizzle over dressing, season to taste and serve with crusty bread.

I think this salad would be incredible no matter what the season. It’s a winner, you must give it a try!

What’s you’re favourite salad made up of?

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