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CHICKEN SALAD SAVVY : GOING BEYOND THE CLASSIC.

Byline: Natalie Haughton Daily News Food Editor

Classic chicken salad - with chunks of poultry blended with creamy mayonnaise or salad dressing, celery, onion and hard-cooked eggs - is old-fashioned comfort food that many of us grew up on.

It was served at picnics or as a cool midsummer meal, featured on luncheon or brunch menus or found its way into tomato or pineapple halves at bridal or baby showers. Granted, it could be dressed up with a few grapes, chopped cucumbers or walnuts, mustard or a few herbs, but many cooks relied on the basic theme - until the last decade or so.

As food tastes, ingredients and interesting combinations have come into their own, classic chicken salad has become more savvy, stylish and chic with Southwestern, Californian, Mexican, Asian, Italian, Indian, French and Caribbean innovations possible. Besides roasting and poaching, the chicken nowadays can be stir-fried, broiled or grilled.

There are even cookbooks devoted to the theme, including ``Chicken Salads'' by Carole Lalli, who was challenged to create a chicken salad for every week of the year (the cookbook includes 60 recipes).

``Chicken salad once meant leftovers from Sunday's roast chicken, heavily mayonnaised, with perhaps a bit of celery thrown in to add texture and some, but not too much, interest,'' Lalli writes in the book's introduction. ``Today's chicken salad has evolved from that model and is much more than a filling for sandwiches and hollowed-out tomatoes. It is practically emblematic of the startlingly cosmopolitan nature of today's American home cooking.''

The range and style of chicken salad has been stretched by flavors and ingredients that no longer seem foreign, Lalli says.

With today's health concerns, many of the recipes that follow are oil- rather than mayo-based. Yogurt and reduced- or nonfat sour creams are other options for dressing updated creations.

You can use a whole chicken or just your favorite parts in today's recipes. If you know ahead of time that you'll be making a salad, roast the chicken the night before and refrigerate it (within two hours after cooking) to use the next day.

Or when time is at a premium, use a cooked chicken or parts from the market. Roasted chicken breasts available in the refrigerator section of supermarkets or discount clubs are a boon for making chicken salads in a jiffy.

One of my all-time favorite variations on the chicken salad theme is a version of the Chicken Olive Salad served at Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles (my son rated it THE BEST). A combination of shredded chicken breast, Napa and red cabbages, red onions, chopped kalamata olives, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and mustard, it's served at the restaurant on slices of olive bread. But it's great served on chopped lettuce, as well.

Other creations that rate high on my list of picks are Pea Pod-Pecan Chicken Salad, Chicken-Papaya Salsa Salad, Apricot Chicken and Rice Salad, Smoked Chicken, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad, Chunky Chicken Mustard Salad and Chinese Chicken Salad (a couple of Restaurant Replica variations are included). All are easy and go together effortlessly - making them especially handy for summer dining. But don't overlook them for year-round eating as well.

Other possibilities include a Chicken Salad Nicoise, Curried Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad Caprese, Cobb Salad and a variation with pesto, green beans and pasta.

Clip and save your favorites from this collection and keep them handy to get you out of a rut when chicken salad is a menu must.

CHICKEN SALAD

1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1/3 cup mayonnaise OR salad dressing

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish OR chopped green bell pepper

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

4 medium tomatoes OR lettuce leaves

In a mixing bowl, combine chicken, celery, green onions, lemon juice and pepper. Stir in eggs, mayonnaise, pickle relish and mustard. Cover; chill at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, if using tomatoes, cut a thin slice off stem end of each tomato. Using a spoon, scoop out the centers of tomatoes, leaving 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick shells. Reserve pulp for another use. Serve salad in tomato shells or on lettuce leaves. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

From ``Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.''

CHICKEN OLIVE SALAD (A replica fromCampanile, Los Angeles)

4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

4 cups shredded napa cabbage

3 cups shredded red cabbage

1/2 cups chopped red OR green onions

1 can (8.75 ounces drained weight) kalamata black olives, drained, cut from pits and chopped

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, roasted 15 to 20 seconds in microwave oven and pressed

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, mix chicken, napa cabbage, red cabbage, red onions and olives.

For dressing, in a small bowl or cup whisk vinegar, olive oil, garlic, mustard and salt until smooth and blended. Add dressing to chicken mixture and toss until blended.

Serve immediately on greens or chill. Makes about 10 cups chicken salad mixture, about 6 to 8 servings.

CHICKEN-PAPAYA SALSA SALAD

This salad is a winner - fabulous tasting and looking. It rates raves with all who taste. Serve on shredded red lettuce for a festive luncheon or supper offering. Accompany with warm cheese quesadilla wedges or herb-baked pita bread pieces.

1 papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons rice OR white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon OR lime juice

Dash cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken OR turkey

5 cups mixed salad greens

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except salad greens. Toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours to blend flavors.

Serve on salad greens. Makes 3 servings.

From ``365 Easy One-Dish Meals'' by Natalie Haughton, Harper & Row.

APRICOT CHICKEN AND RICE SALAD

4 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved

2 cups uncooked converted rice

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup golden raisins

4 green onions, finely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1/3 cup olive OR vegetable oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons dry sherry

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups diced cooked chicken breast, preferably grilled

1/3 cup grilled chopped toasted almonds

Red lettuce leaves

In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat with 1/2 teaspoon salt, curry powder and ginger. Stir in rice, cover tightly and cook over low heat 20 to 25 minutes or until water is absorbed. Discard ginger.

Remove rice from heat. Stir in apricots, raisins, green onions, peppers, oil, vinegar, sherry, mustard, cayenne, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper until combined. Stir in chicken and almonds.

Serve immediately on red lettuce or refrigerate and serve chilled. Makes 8 servings.

From ``365 Easy One-Dish Meals'' by Natalie Haughton, Harper & Row.

PEA POD-PECAN CHICKEN SALAD

This wonderful salad combines chicken with pea pods, toasted pecans and a dressing with Asian overtones. It's great served immediately after preparation or chilled.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch ground allspice

3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 pound frozen Chinese pea pods, thawed and drained OR 3/4 pound fresh (see Note)

3/4 cup toasted pecan halves

In a large bowl, combine vegetable oil, sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, cayenne and allspice. Mix to blend well.

Add chicken, green onions, pea pods and pecans. Toss to coat well. Serve on greens. Makes 4 servings.

NOTE: If using fresh pea pods, trim and remove strings. Blanch in a pot of boiling water 30 seconds.

From ``365 Easy One-Dish Meals'' by Natalie Haughton, Harper & Row.

SMOKED CHICKEN, WALNUT AND GORGONZOLA SALAD

This upscale salad, similar to ones served at many restaurants nowadays, is a winner. This main-dish version contains smoked chicken, which can be purchased already cooked at many supermarkets, either in the meat or deli section. Regular cooked chicken is an acceptable substitute.

1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed and drained

1/2 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 cup watercress leaves

2 cups chopped cooked smoked chicken

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts OR pecans

Freshly ground pepper

Tear romaine and red lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Add basil and watercress; toss well. Keep chilled until serving time.

Just before serving mix in chicken. Add vinegar and oil. Toss to coat greens well.

Place salad on individual serving plates.

Sprinkle top of salads with cheese and walnuts. Add a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

From ``365 Easy One-Dish Meals'' by Natalie Haughton, Harper & Row.

CHUNKY CHICKEN MUSTARD SALAD

This recipe has become a favorite main-dish offering in my warm weather repertoire. It's a wonderful idea for outdoor picnics as well, provided it is kept well chilled.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup whole-grain mustard

1 tab4lespoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 cups diced cooked chicken breast

1 European seedless cucumber, unpeeled and diced (about 2 cups)

1/3 cup chopped red onion

2/3 cup slivered French cornichons OR dill pickles

4 celery ribs, diagonally sliced

8 cups mixed salad greens

In a large bowl, combine vinegar, whole-grain mustard, Dijon mustard, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Add chicken, cucumber, red onion, cornichons and celery. Toss to coat with dressing.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve on greens. Makes 6 servings.

From ``365 Easy One-Dish Meals'' by Natalie Haughton, Harper & Row.

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD (A replica from CheesecakeFactory)

12 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

3 cups shredded poached chicken breast

2 cups thinly shredded red cabbage

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

2/3 cup sliced, drained, canned water chestnuts

3/4 cup finely chopped green onions (tops included)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

2 cups crisp deep-fried rice sticks, drained

1 can (11 ounces) Mandarin oranges, well drained

Plum Sauce Dressing

6 cups crisp fried won ton strips (see Note)

Just before serving, in a large mixing bowl, combine lettuce, chicken, red cabbage, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, green onions, almonds, sesame seeds, rice sticks and oranges.

Toss with desired amount of Plum Sauce Dressing. Garnish with fried won tons. Makes 4 large servings.

PLUM SAUCE DRESSING: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup plum sauce (Lee Kum Kee OR Dynasty brand preferred), 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, 1 teaspoon lite soy sauce, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until well blended. Keep refrigerated. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

NOTE: To make won ton strips, cut 3 1/2-inch won ton wrappers from a 12-ounce package into 3 equal strips (lea4ve wrappers stacked for easy cutting). Heat 3 inches vegetable oil in a medium saucepan until very hot. Add won ton strips, several at a time, and cook until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat until amount of won ton strips needed are cooked.

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD (A replica fromStanley's Restaurant & Bar,Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks)

12 cups bite-sized pieces lettuce (a combination of iceberg and romaine)

2 cups thinly shredded red cabbage

3 cups thinly shredded poached chicken breast

1 cup finely chopped green onions (including tops)

1 can (11 ounces) Mandarin oranges, well drained

2 cups crisp deep-fried rice sticks, drained

Sesame Dressing

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Just before serving, in a large mixing bowl, combine lettuce, red cabbage, chicken, green onions, oranges and rice sticks.

Toss with desired amount of Sesame Dressing; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 4 large lunch or dinner-size servings.

SESAME DRESSING: In a medium mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, dash pepper and 3 to 4 drops lite soy sauce; whisk in 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Keep refrigerated. Makes about 2 cups dressing.

CHICKEN AND FRUIT SALAD

2 cans (5 ounces EACH) chunk OR chunk white chicken

2 cups seedless grapes

1 cup strawberries, cut in half

1 large banana, sliced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon honey

Drain chicken, reserving broth. Toss chicken with grapes, strawberries and banana. Combine reserved broth, mayonnaise, lime juice and honey.

Serve over chicken mixture. Makes about 4 1/2 cups, 4 salad servings.

GRAPE AND CHICKEN TOSSED SALAD

DRESSING:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed

1/8 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed

Dash pepper

SALA4D:

4 cups lettuce, torn in bite-size pieces

1 can (5 ounces) chunk chicken

1 cup seedless grapes

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup croutons

For dressing, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, oregano, basil and pepper.

For salad, toss dressing lightly with all salad ingredients. Makes about 5 cups, 4 to 5 salad servings.

CHICKEN SALAD CAPRESE

Caprese is the name most often given to the widely popular Italian summer appetizer of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Add chicken and a lively tomato vinaigrette - and a loaf of good bread - and you have the perfect warm weather meal.

SALAD:

3 whole poached OR grilled chicken breasts OR meat from a grilled OR roasted chicken

1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese

3 large ripe tomatoes

15 to 20 large basil leaves

DRESSING:

1 medium ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove

10 large basil leaves

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For salad, cut chicken into neat, flat slices. Cut cheese and tomato similarly, into about 1/4-inch slices.

On a large serving platter, arrange chicken, cheese and tomatoes, alternating and overlapping them. Tuck basil leaves among slices.

For dressing, place tomato and olive oil in a work bowl of a food processor. Process to combine well. Drop garlic and basil into bowl and pulse or turn processor on and off to chop garlic and basil roughly into dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over salad, reserving some to pass at table. Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: Acidity can vary from one tomato to another. If you think the dressing needs more, add a bit of red wine vinegar.

From ``Chicken Salads, 60 Scrumptious Recipes for an American Classic'' by Carole Lalli, HarperPerennial.

CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD

SALAD:

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup apple juice

3 whole poached chicken breasts, cubed

3 to 4 stalks 4celery, trimmed, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1 cup)

1 medium green apple, rinsed unpeeled and cubed

DRESSING:

1 cup low OR nonfat plain yogurt

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup fruit from commercial mango chutney, minced

Tabasco sauce

GARNISH:

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro OR parsley

1 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds

For salad, place raisins in a small bowl. Warm apple juice and add to bowl. Let raisins plump 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid.

In a serving dish, combine chicken, raisins, celery and apples.

For dressing, whisk together all dressing ingredients, adding dashes of Tabasco sauce to taste. Taste dressing; there should be a good balance of hot, sweet and tangy flavors.

Pour dressing onto salad ingredients and toss carefully to combine. Sprinkle cilantro and chopped almonds over and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From ``Chicken Salads, 60 Scrumptious Recipes for an American Classic'' by Carole Lalli, HarperPerennial.

PESTO GREEN BEANS ANDPASTA CHICKEN SALAD

SALAD:

Water

Salt

1/2 pound short tubular pasta, such as penne OR cut ziti, preferably whole wheat

1 pound haricots verts OR fresh tender green beans, trimmed and rinsed

3 cups cubed broiled, grilled OR roasted chicken

DRESSING:

25 basil leaves

15 parsley leaves

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

GARNISH:

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

For salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pinch salt and pasta and stir. When pasta is cooked to within 2 or 3 minutes of estimated time for al dente, drop in haricots verts. Cook until beans are just tender.

Drain, refresh immediately under cold water, drain well and turn into a large serving dish. Add chicken to dish.

For dressing, place basil, parsley, mayonnaise a4nd pine nuts into a work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process to make a well blended, creamy mixture. With processor running, pour oil slowly through feed tube; blend well. Drop in garlic and blend briefly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine. Garnish with pine nuts. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From ``Chicken Salads, 60 Scrumptious Recipes for an American Classic'' by Carole Lalli, HarperPerennial.

CHICKEN SALAD NICOISE

DRESSING:

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

SALAD:

Water

1 pound new potatoes OR small all-purpose potatoes, unpeeled

3/4 pound haricots verts OR tender young green beans, trimmed

4 cups mixed tender lettuces, such as salad bowl, oakleaf and frisee, rinsed and dried

2 whole poached chicken breasts, boned and skinned

4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered

3 medium ripe red tomatoes, quartered

3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

8 anchovy fillets, drained

For dressing, combine oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic in work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth. Add basil and pulse several times to chop into dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper and additional vinegar, if desired.

For salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender; drain and refresh immediately in cold water. Drain again.

Bring another pot of water to a boil. Drop in haricots verts and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes; do not overcook. Drain, refresh under cold water and drain well.

Toss lettuces with about 1/2 of dressing in a large shallow bowl or deep platter. Cut chicken into large chunks and arrange on center of lettuces. Cut potatoes in half or in quarters, if they are not very small.4 Arrange potatoes, haricots verts, eggs and tomatoes around platter. Scatter green onions over all and place anchovies in a crisscross pattern over chicken.

Spoon on additional dressing and serve immediately (you may not need all the dressing). Makes 4 servings.

From ``Chicken Salads, 60 Scrumptious Recipes for an American Classic'' by Carole Lalli, HarperPerennial.

COBB SALAD

SALAD:

2 heads romaine lettuce

Meat from 1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) grilled, broiled OR roasted chicken OR from 2 whole poached breasts, cut in strips

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled

1 large OR 2 small avocados, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced

1/2 cup Roquefort OR other blue-veined cheese, crumbled

2 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges

DRESSING:

1 large OR 2 small avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup low- OR nonfat plain yogurt

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For salad, discard any tough, torn or discolored outer leaves from lettuce. Tear remaining leaves into medium-sized pieces from larger ribs; smallest tender inner leaves can be left intact.

Divide lettuce among 6 rimmed dinner plates or shallow soup plates. Arrange chicken, bacon, avocados and cheese in rows over lettuce. Place tomatoes around edges of plates.

For dressing, place avocado chunks, lemon juice, olive oil and yogurt in work bowl of a food processor; process to blend to a smooth puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper; taste and adjust with additional lemon juice if necessary or with additional yogurt if needed to achieve texture of thick cream.

Drizzle a bit of dressing across each salad and pass additional dressing at table. Makes 6 servings.

From ``Chicken Salads, 60 Scrumptious Recipes for an American Classic'' by Carole Lalli, HarperPerennial.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

Water

Salt to salt

2 pounds penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 4cups broccoli florets

3 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, grilled or broiled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup Dressing

Lemon juice and pepper to taste

1 cup toasted pine nuts

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to taste, then pasta. Cook according to package directions until pasta is tender, but not mushy.

Drain pasta, then rinse with cold water to chill pasta; drain. Remove pasta to a bowl and toss with olive oil to coat evenly. Reserve pasta in refrigerator.

Cook broccoli in boiling water to cover 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Drain again and reserve.

Toss together pasta, broccoli, chicken and tomatoes. Add 1 cup Dressing or enough to evenly coat ingredients. Mix well. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Garnish with pine nuts and parsley. Makes 8 servings.

DRESSING: In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard. Whisking constantly, slowly add 1 3/4 cups vegetable oil, 3/4 cup red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, alternating oil and vinegars until mixed. If desired, use a food processor. Add 1/4 teaspoon basil, 1/4 teaspoon oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Store in refrigerator. Makes 2 3/4 cups.

CHICKEN SALAD

1 teaspoon finely chopped onion

3 tablespoons finely chopped celery

3 tablespoons sweet relish

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken; mix well. Stir in chicken. Cover; chill thoroughly.

Serve on lettuce leaves. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 2 servings.

SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER SALAD

14 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup diced green bell pepper

1 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

1/2 cup chunky-style salsa

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 bag (10 ounces) white tortilla chips

1 small head lettuce, shredded

In a medium bowl, combine corn, beans, green pepper, green onions and cilantro. Add chicken; toss to mix well.

In a small bowl, combine salad dressing, salsa and lime juice. Pour over chicken mixture; toss gently to mix well.

Place 1/2 of tortilla chips in bottom of a large salad bowl. Top with lettuce; spoon chicken mixture over top. Serve with remaining tortilla chips.

Garnish with sour cream, guacamole and ripe olives, if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 4 servings.

SMOKED CHICKEN, WALNUT ANDGREEN APPLESALAD

2 green apples

Water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 pounds skinned, boned, smoked (cooked) chicken

6 celery stalks

2 cups toasted walnut halves and pieces

Salad dressing of choice

12 butter lettuce cups

Watercress sprigs

3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

Slice apples around core into match stick pieces 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long; place in a bowl of cold water mixed with lemon juice. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice celery into match stick pieces 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long.

In a large bowl combine drained apples, chicken, celery and 1 1/4 cups walnut pieces. Toss lightly with salad dressing.

Place 2 lettuce cups in centers of EACH of 6 serving plates; surround with watercress sprigs and remaining walnut pieces. Fill lettuce cups with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 6 servings.

CALIFORNIA CHICKEN SALAD

SALAD:

1 pound boned skinned chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon EACH salt and ground black pepper

3 cups cooked b4rown rice, cooled to room temperature

1 can (14 ounces) artichokes hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered

1 cup toasted walnut pieces

1 cup frozen snow peas, thawed and blanched

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

DRESSING:

3 tablespoons each red wine vinegar AND fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

For salad, brush chicken with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil chicken breasts until cooked through.

Chill chicken; cut in 3/4-inch cubes.

Combine chicken, rice, artichokes, walnuts, snow peas and red pepper in large bowl.

For dressing, blend all dressing ingredients in small bowl. Pour over chicken mixture. Toss lightly. Serve on fresh spinach leaves. Makes 4 servings.

CHICKEN SALAD

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach OR 3 tablespoons finely chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2/3 cup nonfat yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill OR tarragon OR 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon OR dill weed

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

3 cups diced cooked white meat chicken

1 apple, cored and diced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Salt and pepper

Iceberg OR other crisp lettuce

In a large bowl, combine spinach, yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, green onions, dill and celery; stir to combine.

Add chicken, apple and walnuts. Blend well, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve salad on a bed of lettuce leaves. Makes 4 servings.

CAPTION(S):

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Drawing: (Color) no caption (Chicken)
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Aug 15, 1996
Words:4410
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