Poached chicken is not just for those times when you're planning to make a huge vat of chicken salad or when you're simmering a whole chicken for an old-fashioned stew. Poached chicken is actually a perfect way for desperate cooks to speed dinner to the table.
By design, poaching chicken is quick and easy. Just bring the water to a boil with the chicken already in the pot. Then reduce the heat for a few minutes to simmer, and finish cooking. After draining the water, slice the boneless, skinless chicken breasts (with a knife and fork, taking care not to burn yourself) and throw a couple of handfuls of ice over the slices in a colander to speed cooling.
The result is incredibly tender, moist chicken that's great for serving hot with your favorite fruit salsa, or cold over a salad, as in today's recipe. By the time you're ready to eat, the chicken is cool, tender and ready for a hot summer night's dinner.
Menu Greek Chicken Salad
GREEK CHICKEN SALAD
2whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/3 cups deli-prepared potato salad
2bags (10 ounces each) prepackaged salad blend
2large, ripe tomatoes
1can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced black olives
1/4 cup already-crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup bottled Greek, Caesar or vinaigrette salad dressing, or more to taste
Pour 6 cups water into a 4 1/2 -quart Dutch oven or soup pot and begin bringing it to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Cut the breasts in half, add them to the pot and cover. When the water has come to a boil, (after about 5 minutes), reduce the heat to low. Continue to simmer for 7 more minutes or until the breasts are no longer pink inside.
Meanwhile, assemble the salads: Place 1/3 cup potato salad in the center of each of 4 serving plates. Top with 4 cups (half a bag) of salad greens. Cut each tomato into 8 wedges. Arrange 4 tomato wedges on each plate over the greens. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons olives and 1 tablespoon cheese over each salad. Set the plates aside.
When the chicken is done, use a knife and fork to cut each breast half into 8 slices. Place all of the slices in a colander and cover with ice cubes. Place the colander in the sink and spray the chicken with cold tap water for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken reaches room temperature.
Place 8 chicken slices over each salad and drizzle each plate with 2 tablespoons of dressing, or more to taste. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings.
Cook's note: We always put the potato salad on the bottom for a little added surprise.
Approximate values per serving (using Nutritionist IV software): 490 calories (56 percent from fat), 29 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 144 milligrams cholesterol, 34 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 832 milligrams sodium.
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