Sunday, April 27, 2008

Slaw & Order

Every cook needs a good potluck dish. Just like some folks memorize the pizza delivery number, I've memorized the ratios for my favorite potluck dish, a filling, vamped-up salad with the intriguing name of Chicken Slaw. Never before have I heard those two words together, but they do indeed make a rustic, crunchy, flavorful main dish salad. Shredded cabbage is tossed with pieces of chicken, two kinds of cheese and finished with a Dijon vinaigrette. The result will be the hit of any event you take it to.

Through the years, I've ad-libbed the recipe, but here's my official version with variations noted:

Chicken Slaw
2 cups shredded purple cabbage (1/2 small head)
2 cups shredded green cabbage (1/2 small head), I usually use all green
2 cups poached, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp is what I have on hand)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 large green onions shredded in the food processor with the cabbage
Handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley shredded in the food processor, aussi
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. raspberry vinegar (or white wine vinegar, in a pinch)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, country style is ok
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
5 slices bacon, cooked to crisp then crumbled (not essential, but a worthy addition)

1. In a very large bowl, combine cabbage, chicken, cheeses, green onions and parsley; toss to mix.
2. In small saucepan, off the heat, combine with the whisk the remaining ingredients. Whisk vigorously to emulsify the ingredients. Over the heat, bring to a slight boil, whisking constantly.
3. Pour dressing over slaw mixture, tossing well to coat. Add bacon, if using.
4. The yield is at least 8 generous servings. You'll probably have some leftovers. It's ok on the second day, but past that, the wateriness really affects the texture of the cheese.

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