Thursday, April 24, 2014

IHCC: What's in Your Picnic Basket?

Last week we were eating dinners al fresco. This week we're inside with the heating on again. But we can have a pretend picnic.

A couple of years ago, Santa brought me The Kitchen Diaries and I read Slater's diary throughout the next year, more or less on the same dates. The book ended up with a lot of stickies, and I've been very happy with most of the dishes I've made here.

(Dear Santa, if the paperback edition of Kitchen Diaries II is out this year, I'd really like to find one under the tree. Please.)

An especially nice feature of Slater's books is that he includes lots of recipes for leftovers. One of my do-me-soon stickies in this book was Chicken and Rice Salad (p187). This salad uses the remains of a  roast chicken. (Mine came from the freezer. We often eat half the chicken after roasting, then I pick the meat and freeze that and the carcass—separately, of course.) Fish sauce and sprouts make this salad only vaguely southeast Asian; there's nothing here that would offend non-adventurous eaters.

My grocery here in France rarely carries any kind of sprouts (in contrast to the Netherlands where these were regularly available) and I've been out of the sprouting business for years (although I admit I to thinking sometimes that it might be a good idea to start this up again). There have been sprouts to be had for the last few weeks, so I thought I'd give this recipe a try. But there were no sprouts to be found this week. On the other hand, they did have mangetouts, snow peas, and I thought those would be a good substitute for crunch and flavor.

The base of the salad is rice, sprouts (or snow peas as I made it), and leftover roast chicken. (The 200g of uncooked rice asked could be considered a bit on the much side; a bit less would be fine. Orzo might be a good substitution.) For extra flavor there's some minced red chilies and chopped mint. The dressing is nam pla (fish sauce), lime juice, and olive oil. Toss everything together and serve. It's that easy.

And very easy to eat also. This salad would be great at a picnic or a potluck or on a buffet table, since there's nothing here that would go off.

Visit this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what other folks have been cooking up for their picnics.


  1. I deal with leftover chicken exactly the same way, Kaye :-) This seems like a great way to use it. I love that so many of Nigel Slater's recipes offer great advice for using up leftovers, and this recipe seems no exception. Great choice using mangetout instead of sprouts.

  2. I love how leftovers can become something so wonderful. I am a big fan of snow peas and not so much sprouts so that substitution makes it even better in my book. ;-)

  3. I love that you subbed the peas for the sprouts. I like them better anyway ;) This looks like a fabulous salad, especially considering it can be made quickly with leftover chicken. Great choice!

  4. A delicious way to use leftover chicken and a great salad for a picnic.

  5. That salad looks delicious and a great way to use up leftovers.

  6. I always seem to have leftover chicken. This looks lie the perfect way to use it. I like he orzo idea.

  7. A delicious way of using leftover chicken. I usually use them in fried rice, and this sounds good to me!
    We love having rice for picnics!