A nice chicken/apple salad will cool you off and fill you up

We stripped our little fuji apples ahead of the blue jays. Just a beak ahead.

We stripped our little fuji apples ahead of the blue jays. 

 

We have a weird little tree that puts out three kinds of apples, one ripening after the other – I think it’s Fuji’s, Braeburn’s, and some sort of green apple, but I’m not sure. The fuji’s always come first. The other day I noticed the birds were pestering them so I took my old basket out there and stripped all of them off. They’re sitting on my kitchen counter, I’m trying to get around to doing something with them.

I hate to treat fresh garden produce like a nuisance, I try to  remember how much I’ll miss these fresh apples in a couple of months. I’ll probably take the nicest ones and set them aside in the refrigerator drawer for, well, not too much later. I’ve been juicing the ones with worm or bird damage, but I was telling my husband, it would be too bad if we just juiced them all. 

Apples are great on salad. They’re nice just plain sliced on green salad, but I like to chop them up in tiny chunks and mix them with chicken for a cold salad that makes for a good meal.

This is another one of those recipes you can make in the morning when it’s not so bad to cook, then whip it out at Dinnertime, when it’s 104 outside,  to impress your melted over little family. Let me tell you, a withering old nag like me needs a few tricks up her sleeve.

As usual I start with two boneless chicken breasts, put a little oil in a skillet and set it over a low flame and lay the chicken down under a lid. After 5 minutes I flip it, and I usually flip it once more within the 20 minutes it takes to get it up to a safe 168 degrees. I like to use a meat thermometer, but 20 minutes over a low flame with a lid on is about all it takes. Then I set it out on a plate with a produce bag over it to cool while I cut up the rest of the stuff. 

For two breasts I use about a cup of diced apples and a half cup of diced celery. When the chicken is cool I dice that up and mix it with the apples and celery.

The dressing is something you might want to remember for other stuff – a mixture of mayonnaise (whether you make it yourself or use the store bought), fruit juice, a teaspoon of prepared mustard (your fave) and about a half teaspoon of curry powder (to your taste). You can put crushed garlic in there if you like it. I make about a cup of this, adding the juice until I get a nice pour-able consistency. Then I pour it over the chicken/apples/celery, and mix it together. This I cover and put in the fridge. 

Doesn't look like much in the plastic container.

Doesn’t look like much in the plastic container.

Was my husband ever happy last night when he came in after doing a bunch of sweaty chores and  I told him dinner was already done. Here’s what it looks like with some window dressing.

This chicken salad is the perfect topper for a crunchy cold green salad. There's one of my husband's "mush" melons on the side, with a couple of slices of homemade bread, we got a meal.

This chicken salad is the perfect topper for a crunchy cold green salad. There’s one of my husband’s “mush” melons on the side, with a couple of slices of homemade bread, we got a meal.

 

Today I’m making cold rice salad, I’ll get back to you with that.

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