Monday, March 15, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad...

Just as I was talking about having plenty of wild rice in the pantry, after the Chicken and Wild Rice Salad with Almonds dish I made for dinner tonight, we don't have any more left! Ironic that I've had that bag for awhile and never made use of it, yet now I'm thinking it's on the list to pick up during our next trip to the market!

I know this dish may seem fairly similar to the one linked above, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, there are quite a few differences! This time, the dark grains of rice are cooked in a pot of boiling broth, along with a knob of butter to slip in a touch of richness. You may or may not have excess cooking liquid left behind - if you do, go ahead and drain it away before continuing on.

I had extra cooked chicken breast in the refrigerator from dinner last night that I cubed up to toss in - however, if you don't, pick up a rotisserie chicken from the market or either poach, grill or sauté about a pound's worth of meat to use. If you do opt for poaching, try using chicken broth, then use a portion of that as the cooking liquid for the rice. I do suggest going simple with the seasoning on the chicken, using just salt and fresh ground black pepper as the salad will have plenty of spark added later on.

Crisp sliced celery, glowing shreds of carrots, sweet cranberries and sliced toasted almonds are mixed with the rice and chicken to create the base of salad, along with minced red onion for a snappy bite. If you find raw red onion too harsh for comfort, try placing them in a fine mesh strainer and take them for a dunk in icy water for five minutes. I didn't find the need to do that this time, but Jeff prefers I do that when the amount is greater as it can sometimes be overwhelming for him.

What sets this apart from the last wild rice dish we made is the fact it is coated with a dressing made with a fun ingredient... fig vinegar! This unique vinegar is a little thicker, very smooth and has an almost raisin-y essence to it. It is also faintly sweet - while we thought this made the salad, if you couldn't locate it or don't need yet another vinegar in the pantry, try using a white balsamic or white wine vinegar instead. This salad would also benefit if you could make it ahead of time and let it stew in the refrigerator. If this is an option you'd like to try, wait on adding the almonds until just before serving - this way they will retain their delightful crunchy texture.


  1. I definitely will be trying this! I love wild rice and this salad looks delicious!!

  2. Fig vinegar! Interesting! Will love to try it.

  3. Great salad. I love the use of the fig vinegar. Major Grey Chutney is also good in chicken salad!

  4. What a basic, but beautiful meal. We'll have to try it. The fig vinegar is intriguing!

  5. Patty - I'm glad to hear you want to try it!

    DC - Yes, definitely worth seeking out.

    ED - Thanks!

    RR - I hope you can find a bottle!