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I don’t know about you, but after consuming hamburgers, hotdogs and bbq ribs for 2 days, my taste buds and stomach needed a break! Good Ole’ American picnic food is a great treat every now and then, but never for a steady diet. With all of the cooking, eating and celebrating of our country’s independence behind, I decided it was time for a trip. Hmmm….but where to go?? I got out my kids globe and gave it a spin to see where my  destination would be. No, I did not actually leave the country (I wish) but rather, I let my taste buds take me on a journey to the landcarnival of Carnival and great food….Brazil.

SALPICON is a traditional Brazilian salad which can either include chicken, seafood or beef. This lite and easy salad filled with fresh vegetables and crunchy diced potatoes will take your palate on a culinary journey. The best part about is that you don’t even need a passport!

This salad must be mixed and tossed together just before serving to keep the potatoes crispy and flavorful.  The key to this dish is fresh ingredients.

Here is what you will need:

2 medium onions                                            2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 whole chicken breast                                   3 tablespoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons course salt                                  1 pound carrots-julienned

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper                     1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 green onions chopped,                                 7 large white potatoes

white and green part                                      1/2 c mayonnaise

1 pound green beans, trimmed

1 package dried cranberries with glazed pecans

Vegetable oil

Peel and mince both onions and set aside. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts to the oil and brown them on both sides for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute’ for 1 minute, then stir in the salt, salpicon chickenpepper, paprika, cayenne, and minced onion. Saute’ for 3 to 4 minutes , or until the onion is soft. Pour in 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken breast and place them on a platter to cool. Strain the cooking liquid and set aside contents of pot. Reserve about 1/4 cup of cooking liquid for salad dressing later.

When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the meat for the bone; discard the bones and the skin. Using your fingers, shred the meat and set aside.

Cut the green beans into 1/4 inch pieces, add julienned carrots and diced green onions and set aside in separate bowl.

Wash and peel the potatoes, slice the potatoes julienne style (using the slicing disk on food processor) and place them in a large bowl of cold water to prevent discoloring. In a medium stockpot, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to hot.  To Test if fried potatoesoil is ready, place the tip of the handle end of a wooden spoon in oil. If tiny  bubbles collect around the handle, then oil is ready for frying. 

Place a small stack of the potatoes on a dry towel,  pat dry and immediately place into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, then remove them from oil with a slotted spoon to a large paper-towel covered surface to drain. Repeat the process until all of the potatoes are cooked. Use additional vegetable oil if necessary.

Dressing: In a small bowl spoon in mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of reserved cooking liquid. Stir until combined.

Toss the chicken, potatoes, onions, vegetables, cranberries/pecan and dressing together in  a large serving bowl. Season the salad with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.