Wednesday, September 18, 2013

cooking light, cooking right - chicken and wild rice salad with almonds

A slight preview of Fall definitely made its way through Middle Tennessee this last weekend. Saturday was one of the most beautiful we've had in a while.  Much cooler temps and great football from all of our teams made for a perfect day!

I have had this recipe dog-eared for months and months... maybe even years, at this point. Once I knew we were in for a more Autumn-like couple of days, I knew this dish would be up for preparation and review.  With it's blend of wild rice, cranberries, and almonds, it did not disappoint in the least. 

Don't let the time it requires to cook the rice keep you from doing this one.  You can just prep everything else while it's simmering.  It's not bad at all!  In fact, this makes such a large helping, it's worth every bit of work.  John and I have both had multiple meals off of it.  There are all kinds of flavors and textures happening, so I didn't tire of the leftovers one bit.

In other news, last night I made my first batch of Caramel Apple Granola for the season.  I can't believe it's already been a year since I gave that recipe a whirl (and heard angels sing, might I add).  The house smelled wonderful, but something happened to the caramel.  I'm thinking I didn't let the water/sugar mixture boil long enough, so shortly after the butter melted in with it, and I attempted to pour it into the oat/nut blend, it set up ultra-fast and wouldn't evenly coat.  

Well, shoot.  Now we have to eat caramelized buttered sugar bits, hiding among toasted oats and almonds, dusted with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Life it so hard.  

Lesson of the night?  Sometimes a mess-up - especially in the kitchen - can be a very good thing.

one year ago: popie's jalapeƱo poppers

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad with Almonds
makes six servings

For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
Remaining ingredients
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (I used a store-bought rotisserie variety... YUM!)
~ Place chicken broth, rice and butter in large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat, 
    cover, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender.

~ Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and garlic in a small bowl.  
    Gradually add oil, whisking continuously.  Cover and chill.

~ In a large bowl, stir together celery, carrots, cranberries, almonds, onion, and chicken.

~ When rice is tender, pour and spread out on cookie sheet to cool.  Add to the
    vegetable/chicken mixture and stir.

~ Add dressing to all and fully incorporate.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.