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Is There a More Versatile Ingredient Than Chicken?

Back in the day, which wasn’t too long ago, the chicken was reserved for Sunday dinner. Now chicken is ubiquitous and cheap and is served up in ways that defy listing. But as ever, the cook should choose the best chicken they can afford, which is often a free range chicken. By free range it should be truly free range and not simply allowed a couple of hours of sunlight in an outdoor cage, for the bugs, grit and other things a free range chicken eats enhance its flavor. Best of all is the chicken more and more people are growing in their backyard. Wherever the chicken comes from, it tastes good in just about everything. Here are some recipes:

Chicken and Broccoli Recipe - Chicken and Broccoli Pie


  • Pie pastry
  • 1 bunch of fresh broccoli
  • 1 1/4 cups boneless, skinless cooked chicken
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms
  • 1 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 lb. Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of half and half
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon or thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make and roll out the pastry, or if it’s bought, place in a 9 inch glass pie dish.

Remove the broccoli stalk, and reserve it for something else. Break the heads into florets, and cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain, shock with ice water then drain again. Chop the florets coarsely and reserve.

Chop the chicken, onion and mushrooms coarsely.

Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the onion until golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until they give up their liquid, and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add the chicken until warmed through.

Sprinkle the cheese over the bottom of the baking dish. Add the broccoli, then scatter the mushroom-onion-chicken mixture on top. Top with the rest of the cheese.

Beat together the eggs, salt, pepper, tarragon or thyme and half and half. Pour slowly into the dish, and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 degrees F., and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is brown and bubbly. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

Chicken Strips Recipe - Deep Fried Chicken Strips


  • 3/4 lb. skinned and boned chicken breast
  • 1/2 piece of fresh ginger root or
  • 1 tbs. ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • Potato starch or cornstarch for dredging
  • Cooking oil
  • 2 scallions, trimmed

Slice the chicken into strips and place in a bowl. Grate the ginger cube, or use the ground ginger to mix with the chicken. Add the soy sauce and the mirin and mix. Marinate for 30 minutes then lift out the chicken pieces and roll them in the potato or corn starch.

Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 340 degrees Fahrenheit in a saucepan. Fry the chicken a few at a time until they're golden brown. Drain on a rack or on paper towels then arrange on a platter.

Cut the scallions on the bias into 1 inch pieces, then cut into strips. Plunge them into ice water for a few minutes. Squeeze them dry with a kitchen towel before adding them to the platter with the chicken.

Traditional Chicken Salad Recipe - Chicken Guacamole Salad


  • 1 medium head of iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tbs. of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped green chiles
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallot or scallion
  • 3 cups diced, cold, cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Guacamole (See directions)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Pitted olives, cherry tomatoes and sweet red cherry peppers

Arrange the outer leaves of the lettuce in a serving bowl. Shred the rest of the lettuce. In another large bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, chiles and shallot or scallion. Add the shredded lettuce and toss. Spoon into the lettuce-lined bowl, and arrange the chicken on top. Spread with sour cream, and cover with the guacamole. Sprinkle on the cheese and the garnishes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

To make guacamole, peel and pit a large, ripe avocado. Cut it into chunks and mash it. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. lime juice and a minced clove of garlic. Mash them together until smooth.