Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Cashews, saffron and raisins surprise the palate in this salad. NOTE: I adjusted the mayonnaise amount in half per the kind reviewer below. Recipe originally called for 3 cups, but I agree that seemed excessive.
- 3 lbs boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup celery, cut diagonally
- 1⁄2 cup red onion, small dice
- 8 ounces raisins, any variety
- 8 ounces cashews or 8 ounces other nuts
- 1 g saffron thread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1⁄2 lb pasta, cooked al dente' (I use bow ties)
- 1 large red bell peppers or 1 large green bell pepper, fine julienne
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or about 1 tsp dried leaves) or 1 tablespoon mint (or about 1 tsp dried leaves)
- 1 1⁄2 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise (or to your specifications)
- chopped chives (to garnish) or green onion (to garnish)
- Pound the chicken breasts so that they are of an even thickness (1/2 ") and then grill over a hot flame, marking well, but being careful not to overcook. Refrigerate to cool. When the chicken is cool, cut into 1/2" cubes.
- Combine chicken stock, olive oil, and vinegar. The amount of saffron that you will need will vary greatly with the purity and freshness. With this method, having too weak a mixture will be more of a problem than too strong a mixture. Chop the saffron threads very finely. Add the saffron to the stock mixture and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup in volume, and then cool. Mix this liquid into the mayonnaise. The color should be a fairly bright, but not a totally alarming yellow (more than a legal pad, but less than a taxi). If the color and flavor seem too strong, just add more mayonnaise.
- Gently mix the diced chicken, raisins, celery, onion, bell pepper, and thyme or mint in a large bowl.
- Fold the saffron mayonnaise into the salad, whatever amount looks good to you. Add salt and pepper to taste. It's best if you can let the flavors meld overnight The nuts are best added about 1 hours before serving so that they don't become too soggy.
I love this recipe! It is a wonderful blend of flavors and the dressing is fantastic.I used a 16 oz. box of whole grain pasta and cut the amount of mayonnaise in half. The first time I made it, I didn't have saffron. I substituted curry powder. Instead of boiling the chicken broth mixture, I just mixed 1 tsp. of chicken boullion powder,1 tbs. balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp. of curry powder into the mayonnaise. It tasted very good this way too.