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Chicken Avocado Cranberry Salad

Liliane Kaufmann often traveled to California and Mexico, where she grew to love avocado. At the time this might have been considered exotic by some Northeasterners, especially in rural areas such as southwestern Pennsylvania. Although avocados were first shipped to Chicago and New York in the 1920s, sales in the Midwest have risen only recently. As one early wholesaler said, “Nobody here wants black fruit.”–Suzanne Martinson

LC First Impressions Note

At first glance, this boiled salad dressing may seem sorta, oh, how shall we say this? Uh, heavy. Yet that wouldn’t be an accurate first impression. When used to cloak this simple salad, it’s actually creamy and subtle and delicate and nuanced. Just in case you were wondering.

Chicken Avocado Cranberry Salad Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • For the boiled salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (either white or cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • For the salad
  • 6 cups cooked chicken breast, chilled and diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, soaked overnight in water, drained, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup boiled salad dressing
  • 4 or 5 avocados (figure 1/2 avocado per person)

Directions

  • To assemble
  • 1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and dry mustard in a saucepan off the stovetop. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the milk and vinegar. Stir the mixture slowly into the flour, whisking as you pour. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and remove from the heat. Add the butter and stir until incorporated. Cool to room temperature before using. (You can cover and refrigerate the dressing for up to a couple days.)
  • Make the salad
  • 2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked chicken, dried cranberries, celery, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.
  • 3. Add 1 cup boiled salad dressing to the salad and gently toss to combine. Plop the salad in the center of a platter or on individual plates. Peel, pit, and thickly slice the avocados. Encircle the chicken salad with the avocado. Serve immediately.
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