Don’t look too impressed nor intimidated. This chicken shrimp salad with pasta and lightly toasted sliced almonds is really just about getting creative with leftovers.
One weekend, I made chicken, pasta and pineapple salad, I set aside two portions for the girls to bring to the condo, the packs got left behind because their bag of to-bring-food was so full that I didn’t think I forgot to include anything.
On the same weekend, my brother-in-law, Buddy, and his then best girl, Laura (if you haven’t met them yet, click here and here) came over, and they brought stuff for making Vietnamese spring rolls. The shrimps were too small and Laura got bored peeling them. Ergo, about half of the boiled shrimps went into a container and into the fridge.
And the almonds? I baked an apple galette and forgot to sprinkle the toasted almonds before the pie went into the oven.
So, all that became this chicken shrimp salad.
- 200 grams pasta (whatever shape but the best are the ones with lots of grooves to catch the dressing)
- 500 grams chicken (I used half of a whole)
- cooked shrimp peeled and cut up if large (amount is variable since I used leftovers, remember?)
- 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups pineapple pieces (depending on how much pineapples you like in your salad), drained
- 2 to 3 celery stalks
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup pickle relish
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more)
- juice of one lemon
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- sugar to taste
- toasted almond slices
- chopped fresh parsley
Boil the chicken in a large pot of salted water. Remove scum as it rises. For a really flavorful chicken (and pasta since you’re going to cook the pasta in the broth), add a whole onion, a few cloves of garlic, a bay leaf and some peppercorns. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer for about 40 minutes.
Lift the chicken, transfer to a plate and cool.
Strain the broth and reheat. When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain. That’s tasty pasta, trust me.
Debone the chicken, discard the bones (save the skin if you prefer not to include them in the salad) and cut the meat into half-inch cubes.
Slice the celery stalks, anywhere from 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch would be good.
Toss everything together, except the almonds. If, however, there are members of your family who are allergic to shrimps like I am, I suggest you add the shrimps just before serving and only to the portions of the people who are okay with shrimps.
Adjust the seasonings and amount of mayo (and lemon juice, perhaps), as needed. Chill for a couple of hours.
To serve, ladle into salad bowls and sprinkle with toasted almond slices.