I can just hear what some of you may be thinking:
Good grief, she’s at it agaiiiiiin!
Yeah. I know. More browned butter. I still just can’t quit using it.
But in my defense, today I finally found a way to put it to a rather healthy use.
I mean, as healthy as things can be considering the fact that we’re talking about butter here.
But in all seriousness, I am still excited about this recipe; first because it’s not only another tasty use of one of my favorite ingredients, but also because it’s a savory application of it, which I’ve mentioned before was something that I’ve really really wanted to experiment with.
About once every month or so, my taste buds experience a strange phase where they don’t want anything that’s ‘cooked.’ I mean, nothing. The only foods that I’ll be in the mood for during those particular phases is cold cut sandwiches and salads.
Weird, I know.
But when those times come around, I do honor my cravings and stick to the cold cuts and salads for dinner for several days. This past time, I decided to deviate from my norm of turkey sandwiches and/or using shredded rotisserie chicken that I just chop up and toss in salad, try to test out a recipe I’d had my eye on for several months or so.
Vinaigrettes are my favorite, and actually the only type of dressing that I’ll eat. They have that perfect balance of acidity, sweetness and savory that amplifies the flavors of salad veggies without making them ‘eat heavy’ if you know what I mean. The ingredients for today’s recipe are inspired by a similar chicken salad dish I did a few years ago where I made a roasted garlic vinaigrette to dress the salad in. The primary difference between then and now is that rather than roasted garlic, browned butter is now the star of this show.
You may be skeptical of this at first, especially because I’ve only ever shared browned butter as an ingredient for desserts. But let me tell you, this really works. Browned butter has a golden, nutty flavor to it and I was surprised at just how well that nuttiness played against the sharp acidity of the vinegar and lemon juice in the salad dressing.
This was light, refreshing and delicious. I recommend eating it as a sandwich on a sturdy, crusty bun…like these from last week.
Wear a mask. Social distance. Get the vaccine when it’s your turn. Be kind.
Browned Butter Chicken Salad
Dressing Recipe Adapted from MyRecipes.com
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 sprig of sage (about 4 leaves), finely chopped
- ½ shallot, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
- 2 rotisserie chickens, deboned (It should yield about 4-5 cups of shredded, and/or chopped chicken)
- 1 red onion
- .75 oz (21 grams) fresh mint, chopped
- 2 oz fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 4 roasted red peppers, chopped
For Dressing: Melt the butter over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Let it cook and watch it closely until 3-5 minutes until the butter begins to foam, forms a golden brown color and browned bits form on the bottom. (It will have a sweet, nutty smell).
The moment you see the right color, remove the pan from heat and add your chopped sage and shallot. Sizzle and swirl in the hot pan for about a minute, then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Add salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, balsamic and lemon juice, and whisk together until vinaigrette looks glossy and smooth. Taste and add salt to your preferences, then allow to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the chicken, onion, red peppers, onion, mint and parsley together in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle in about half of the dressing and stir thoroughly to combine. Taste it—if it’s to your satisfaction, you can leave off the rest of the dressing and save it for later, or you can add and stir it into the rest of the salad mixture.
Cover the chicken salad and refrigerate for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight to allow flavors to meld.
Serve salad on crusty, sturdy sandwich rolls, like these 🙂