Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Last night we decided to take something old and make it new. I like to use Mondays and Tuesdays to survey the available refrigerator space and grocery situation and then make a meal plan so that I can have dinner + leftovers for lunch throughout the week, and I like to do it so that I'm not racing to eat the same thing twice a day before it spoils. 

So the meal plan for this week is hopefully going to be as follows: Lemon Basil Chicken Salad (done), Stromboli and Burgers. Each should make a solid dinner with leftovers for lunch without occupying a huge amount of space in the refrigerator like a casserole. Not only that but all three are meals that I can easily grab in the morning and make at work.

As I mentioned before, last night Lauren and I made the Lemon Basil Chicken Salad another Paula Deen creation. The recipe is as follows:
  • 4 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 rib minced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, basil and almonds. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add to chicken mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill.

We used dried basil rather than fresh. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup and the fresh basil packages at the grocery store were $2 each and didn't seem like they'd produce that much. So rather than spend $6 on fresh basil I just took the dried basil I already had and used about 2-3 tbsp. Other than that I stuck to the recipe. 

We grilled and diced 2 lbs of chicken breast to get our 4 cups, and as a result the chicken salad was a bit warm when we ate it last night. I'll be curious to see if the overnight refrigeration married the flavors a little more and alters the taste.  This recipe will probably stick around as our change of pace chicken salad recipe.

Along with our chicken salad we also tried out a new recipe for corn. When summer rolls around the only vegetables I have interest in are the ones that get cheaper and veggies I can roast. So at least twice a week we end up eating sweet corn or asparagus. Last night was a corn night:

  • 6 ears corn, shucked
  • Cilantro Lime Butter, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat each ear of corn in 2 tablespoons of the cilantro lime butter and wrap individually in foil. Roast until hot and steaming, about 25 minutes. Serve with extra butter on the side.

Cilantro Lime Butter:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Put the butter in a mixing bowl and, using a rubber spatula, mix in the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt and cayenne. Use immediately or refrigerate.

Once again Food Network went a little overboard with their condiments. Two sticks of butter is ridiculous. Thats like 1/3 stick per ear of corn. I don't know if you've ever tried to put 1/3 of stick of butter on one ear of corn, but it just isn't possible. Not even by accident.

To make just two ears of corn last night, I used about 3 tbsp of butter total. I divided everything else by 3 and mixed it together. Rather than roast the corn for 25 minutes I first boiled the corn for 3-4 minutes, then slathered it with the cilantro lime butter, wrapped it in foil and finished it on the grill next to my chicken for another 5-10 minutes.

It was very good. I realize there are only so many ways to prepare corn and this isn't all that exotic, but it was appreciated nonetheless.

Neither of these pictures are mine. They are both from Food Network. I didn't have my camera out last night. My chicken salad didn't look quite so stupid. The corn is a pretty accurate representation though.