Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ellan's Salpicão

Boiling two chicken breasts
With a heavy heart, I have to admit that when Strathy said that Allan was going to be preparing a salad of potato sticks and chicken I was dumb founded. I’ve seen similar dishes on the buffet table of rodizio restaurants, and remember it being well… not memorable... except to say that it took up space on my plate where more meat might go.
But this is not the same salpicão. In fact, I’d say all other salpicão’s should cower in shame versus this salpicão. This salad, if you can really call it that, because most salads have this little notion of one trying to be “healthy,” well, this has all sorts of bad for you stuff spanning from those crispy little potato sticks your mother used to tell you not to eat too many of as a kid because you’d get grease all over your pants, and running the calorie gambit all the way to a whole jar of mayonnaise. Not a healthy salad. Just be forewarned. So delicious though.
Grating carrots
The most difficult part of this recipe was not all that difficult. It consists of boiling two chicken breasts for as long as it takes them to cook, and then cooking for a bit longer so that they are borderline stringy. At this point, Allan removed the chicken from the water, dried them a bit, and then threw them into a food processor for about 15 good pulses. When the chicken was really pulverized, but not quite turned into a paste, he began to build the rest of the dish.
Frozen diced veggie mix
Into a large glass casserole dish, he added about five cups of potato sticks. On top of this went three grated carrots, then the pulverized chicken. A bag of frozen peas, carrots, green beans and corn (dethawed) then went on top of the chicken, and about five long chopped stalks of celery went on top of the other vegetables.
Mixing the dry ingredients
Ellan gingerly mixed all of these dry ingredients a bit in the casserole dish, thoroughly combining. He then proceeded to sprinkle a  large package of raisins, and with reckless abandon, added a whole motherf*ckin’ jar of mayonnaise. Damn, that was a lot of mayonnaise. He began mixing the newly added ingredients with his hands so that all of the potato sticks and chicken flavor combined and soaked in the wet mayo. A few minutes later, with all items coming together, the salpicão got a bit of a dose of salt, and a handful of chopped parsley. The entire mixture was mounded onto a serving platter, and garnished with a pretty stalk of celery, complete with leaves.
Mixing in the mayo
This salad had kind of an old school, late 1960s exotic vibe for me. I could imagine Betty Draper serving it at that infamous party where she proceeded to go bat shit crazy because Don had used his seductive marking power to sway her modern housewife grocery store thoughts toward buying exotic imported Heineken for the dinner party that night. Or simply pool side at a sunny and raucous Rio pool party. Either way, it looked pretty awesome and unlike any other salad I’ve seen on any other given day. A solid scoop on my plate gave way to the most savory, unctuous, and interesting flavor. It was salty and rich, with the occasional crunch of celery and the zing of sweetness brought by each burst of raisin. It was, in a way, the best chicken salad mixture, as in a chicken salad that you might get in a sandwich, that I have ever had, with every bit of fattiness absorbed in those potato chips and giving way to flavor, flavor, flavor. 
Yes, I did have a couple scoops that were left over from our dinner party phenomenon via the wonderful Ellan for breakfast the next morning.
Quite a win for Ellan, and another way to look at salad. 

Delicious Salpicão
2 skinless chicken breasts, boiled and cooked until pretty stringy
1 package frozen peas, carrots, corn, and green beans
5 cups of potato sticks
3 carrots, run against a large cheese grater
1 large bag of raisins
1 jar of mayonnaise
4 large stalks of celery, finely diced
Handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

No comments:

Post a Comment