OMG. I was downloading some photos from my camera of the Ice Iced Vovo when I found all the photos I had taken of the Orange and Chicken Surprise Salad. I had totally forgotten about it. How, I do not know. I’m sure I didn’t drink THAT much over the holiday period. I’m equally sure you will agree that the Orange Chicken Surprise Salad should be unforgettable (in every way).
Given that I have named January the month of crazy, it seemed fitting to post it here. I totally had something else in mind to close out the month and we may yet get there. But this had to get a mention.
It looks quite pretty. Like a lovely orange jello dessert. But wait! A surprise lurks within.
Not much of a surprise as the name pretty much gives it away….(There must be some sort of term for that….is it a paradox? A tautology? Someone smarter than me please tell me….) But hiding under that innocent orange jello exterior is a chicken salad. A rather tasty chicken salad to boot.
The idea of mixing sweet jello and savoury items kind of freaks me out. It should not work. It freaks me out even more when, like this, the result is actually pretty tasty. Mind you, I loaded the jello with lemon juice so it was not as sweet as the original recipe dictated which may have helped make it a bit more palateable to my taste. The original recipe is below:
The hardest thing about this recipe is getting the layer of jelly on the top the right thickness. My cup sank way too deep the first few times, requiring some melting and resetting of the jelly. It was still a little bit thin in this version and it kind of fell into a heap when I cut into it.
But all up, this was a success. The jelly actually added a light tangy touch to the salad which was refreshing both on a hot day and after the heavy meals of Christmas.
My version, which includes cranberries and tarragon is below.
I’ll be spending this week working on my post to celebrate Australia Day….I’m venturing into the best left alone arena of “things people eat when drunk” and, believe me, whether I love it or hate it, it’s going to be a doozy!!!
- 2 packets orange jello
- 2 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup boiling water, just off boil
- 11/2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/2 tbsp chopped tarragon
- 1/2 tbsp chopped chives
- 1/4 cup (about a handful) of cranberries, chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- more lemon juice to bind, if needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 orange peeled and segmented
- Mint leaves
- Combine the jello, fruit juices and boiling water, stirring until the jello melts. Place in fridge to set.
- When about half set place a small bowl into the jello and weigh it down (baking beans are ideal if you have them, otherwise use rice or beans or anything else you have to hand).
- Chill for several hours until very firm.
- Meanwhile combine all the salad ingredients and season to taste.
- When the jelly is set, take a sharp knife and dip it in hot water. Dry the knife then ease all around the small bowl. You may need to dip it in the water a couple of times.
- Once the bowl is removed pack the chicken salad into the cavity. Put foil or a plate over it and chill until firm.
- When ready to serve, place the mould in hot water to loosen the jelly, it only needs to be in there a short time. Then turn it out and garnish with the orange segments, cranberries and mint leaves.
- If your cup sinks too low in your jelly mould like mine did, place the bottom of the mould in hot water. The jelly will melt. Keep the mould in the water until you get the level of jelly you desire then place back in the fridge to reset.