Hye Thyme Cafe: Greek Chicken Salad

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Greek Chicken Salad

Greek Chicken Salad : Hye Thyme Cafe

I suppose there really isn't anything particularly Greek about this chicken salad, but that's what I call it. Maybe it's just so everyone knows what I mean when I ask if they want Green Chicken Salad as opposed to say Curried Chicken Salad, Thai Chicken Salad, or just general Chicken Salad. Or maybe because when it's still in the bowl, it vaguely reminds me of the filling for Spinach Bouregs (Spanakopita). You can call it Spinach Chicken Salad or whatever you want, but it's definitely a nice change of pace and a way to get picky kids to eat spinach.

Cooked chicken
Spinach (frozen chopped spinach, thawed)
1 small onion
Dried Oregano
Mayonnaise (and/or plain yogurt)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Garlic (optional)
Salt and Pepper

I don't think I ever specifically set out to make Chicken Salad. It usually comes about when I'm making a chicken dish that doesn't require as much chicken as I purchased. I'll cook it all, then set aside the extra to make Chicken Salad later for sandwiches. That usually means the basic celery, onion, pickles (or relish), mayo, maybe a little mustard and/or dill. Every once in a while, I'll be in the mood for this instead.

Saute a box of spinach with a diced small onion and about a tablespoon of oregano flakes. You might also want to add some crushed red pepper for heat, or maybe some garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside to cool - you do not want to add hot spinach to cold chicken and mayo!

If you buy spinach by the bag, you have more control over how much goes into it. I had a box in the freezer, so I used the whole thing. Had I not done that, I would have had a random small amount of spinach left that probably would have gone to waste.

Once the spinach mixture has cooled, stir it into your diced chicken, then dress with as much mayo as your crowd prefers. If you want to lighten things up a bit, you can use a light mayo and cut that with a bit of yogurt to take it a step further.

If you want to serve little sandwiches for an app or make them for a lunch meeting, etc., you can trim the crusts from you bread and quarter the sandwiches into triangles, or use cookie cutters for interesting shapes. For the smaller sandwiches, you can finely dice the chicken and give the spinach a quick pulse in the food processor for better distribution.

If you would rather serve it over greens than in a sandwich, you might want to crumble a little feta on top, or some lightly toasted pine nuts - maybe a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

Greek Chicken Salad : Hye Thyme Cafe

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