Basil-Parmesan Chicken Salad

Yield:
Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 chicken breast halves, on the bone, with skin, 4 1/2 pounds total weight
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Directions
  • In a large heavy pot, bring the water to a boil. Peel, trim, and quarter the onion. Peel, trim, and smash the garlic.

  • Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, parsley, and salt to the boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes.

  • Carefully slide the chicken breasts into the pot and return the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and poach the chicken for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the cover, and let the chicken cool in the liquid.

  • When cool enough to handle, remove the chicken from the broth, skin and bone it, and shred into bite-sized pieces. Put in a large bowl. (Be sure to strain and reserve the broth for making soups or sauces.)

  • Make the dressing: Peel, trim, and chop the garlic as fine as possible. Rinse the basil leaves, pat them dry, and chop very fine.

  • In a bowl, combine the garlic and basil with the remaining dressing ingredients. If you would like a smoother sauce, blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until saucelike.

  • Spoon the dressing over the chicken, toss well to combine, and transfer to a serving platter. Serve within 1 hour of finishing.


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