Disclosure: Latinaish.com has partnered with McCormick to bring you recipes using McCormick products. As always, all opinions are my own.
It may surprise some to know that chicken salad is popular in many countries throughout the world, although its ingredients vary from what those of us in the United States consider the norm. A few variations I know of:
• Goi Ga from Vietnam features cabbage, fish sauce, spicy chilies, and mint.
• Dak-Nangchae from Korea is eaten in the summer and incorporates plenty of colorful vegetables.
• Ensalada de Pollo from Mexico is often eaten on Saltine crackers.
• Coronation chicken salad from England features curry powder and mango chutney, and was first made in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation lunch.
• Peruvian and Chilean “palta a la reina” is chicken salad served atop an avocado half.
• Salpicão de Frango from Brazil includes apple, carrot, raisins, and olives.
• And then there’s Salad Olivie, which is believed to be the origin of chicken salads and Russian salads. Also known as Salad Olivier or Olivier Salad, these days it’s usually a combination of chicken, potato, egg, green peas, and mayonnaise with endless variations, but when it was invented in the 1860’s by a restaurant chef named Lucien Olivier in Russia, it was made with fancier ingredients such as grouse, capers, caviar, and smoked duck in a dressing which was a closely guarded secret. Modern versions of this salad are popular throughout Eastern Europe, as well as in Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Mongolia, and beyond.
With all these different types of chicken salad from around the world I shouldn’t have been so surprised when Carlos first told me that chicken salad is also popular in El Salvador, specifically at children’s birthday parties.
Carlos remembers attending many birthday parties in his neighborhood as a little boy and looking forward to being handed a chicken salad sandwich wrapped in a white paper napkin when he walked through the door. When he shared this memory with me, I decided to try to recreate the birthday party sandwiches of his childhood. With his input, this is the recipe I developed and he says it tastes just right!
Using quality chicken breasts which are slow-simmered with fresh vegetables ensures the meat is moist and flavorful. Shredded and mixed with McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice which adds traditional sabor, spices, and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce – this chicken salad tastes even better chilled and eaten the next day, but it’ll be difficult to wait. Spoon it onto slices of soft, white bread and cut off the crusts if you like. However you eat it, this Salvadoran-style chicken salad is yummy enough to serve at birthday parties, but easy enough that you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to whip up a batch for your family.
(Want this recipe en español? Click here.)
Salvadoran Chicken Salad Birthday Party Sandwiches
3 large chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut in large pieces
1 Roma tomato, quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon McCormick black pepper
2 cups McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon McCormick black pepper
½ teaspoon McCormick garlic powder
½ teaspoon McCormick onion powder
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1. Add first seven ingredients to a large pot over medium high heat with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so it’s at a slow simmer. Cover loosely. Adjust heat lower if needed to keep it at a simmer until chicken is cooked through.
Tip: Avoid boiling or over-cooking the chicken as this will result in the meat being dry. Simmering keeps the meat moister. Short on time? Use chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts – they cook faster!
2. Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Once cool, shred by hand into small bite-size pieces and place into a large bowl.
3. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined in a medium-sized bowl.
4. In the large bowl mix the mayonnaise mixture a little at a time into shredded chicken until desired creaminess is achieved. I found it tastes best to use about 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture for every 1 cup shredded chicken.
5. Chill for at least one hour or overnight to allow flavors to combine. Serve chicken salad between slices of white bread.
Optional: Add slices of cucumber, a leaf of romaine lettuce, or whatever toppings you like to the sandwich. Some people also like to cut off the crusts and wrap each sandwich in a napkin when serving at parties.
Yields approximately 6 cups chicken salad.
For more recipes like this, visit www.McCormick.com/Espanol!