Poached Chicken Salad with Ginger and Celery

Poached Chicken Salad  with Ginger and Celery

makes 6 quarts homemade broth; salad serves 6-8

An economical (and tasty) way to use the whole bird and get the most out of your local chicken. Easy addtions of grated ginger and celery make boring deli salad a thing of the past.

For the chicken:
1 3–4 lb. whole chicken
7–8 quarts water
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 stalks celery
10 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
1 bunch fresh thyme

For the salad:
3 stalks celery with leaves
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
2–3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, combine the chicken, water, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to less than a simmer (water temperature should be between 160º–180º; the water will be just on the verge of simmering but not yet dancing). Add celery stalks, garlic, onion, bay leaf, and thyme. Keep the broth half-covered with a lid for 2–3 hours, until the chicken falls apart.

After the broth has cooled to lukewarm, remove the chicken parts and garlic cloves and set aside. Strain the broth (discard onion and herbs) and season with salt to taste. Transfer broth to lidded storage containers and freeze for later use.

While the chicken is still warm (but cool enough to handle), remove the white and dark meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Transfer meat to a large bowl along with reserved garlic cloves. Add chopped celery, grated ginger, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Julie publishes Edible Ohio Valley with her family. After 15 years in the world of commercial photography, her lens is now focused on recording the sustainability movement in the Midwest. A graduate of UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, she’s a partner and co-founder of The Fairview Agency, a multidisciplinary creative firm.