Barbara Lauterbach

Author of Four Cookbooks

The Splendid Spoonful - from Custard to Crème Brûlée

Fifty Favorite Recipes - Potato Salad

Fifty Favorite Recipes - Pasta Salad

Fifty Favorite Recipes - Chicken Salad


Bird of Paradise Chicken Salad

One cold and snowy day I ventured down to the local supermarket and there, in the floral area, was a canister holding several elegant bird of paradise flowers, fresh from a clime far more tropical than mine. Their tall, stately heads of brilliant orange plumage took my mind off the sleet and snow outside. As I walked through the produce section, I fantasized what it would be like to be where those flowers had come from, right at that very moment. Short of that, perhaps something tropical for dinner? Today, even in frozen New England, we have access to tropical fruits year round. While they don't approach the juicy, lush flavor they have in their native climate, they make a pleasant break from the long days of winter. Here is a tropical chicken salad that can be made most anywhere. Serves 6 to 8


1 whole chicken breast (or about 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken)

1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and cubed fresh pineapple (1/2-inch cubes)

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

2 ripe mangos, peeled and cubed

1 ripe papaya

Lettuce leaves for serving

6 or more clusters of red grapes for garnish



3/4 cup mayonnaise, homemade or high-quality purchased

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted

Poach the chicken breast. When it is cool enough to handle, remove any bones, skin, and visible fat, and cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the chicken in a large bowl along with the pineapple cubes, grape halves, and mango cubes. If you are not serving the salad immediately, cover and refrigerate the chicken mixture for up to 2 hours. If you refrigerate the mixture longer, the pineapple tends to give off its juices.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange juice, and zest. Stir in 3/4 cup of the nuts. Pour the dressing over the chicken and fruit mixture, and toss gently but thoroughly.

Peel the papaya, using a vegetable peeler. Cut it in half, remove the seeds, and then cut it vertically into even slices. Line a serving platter with lettuce leaves, and mound the chicken mixture in the middle of the platter. Arrange the slices of papaya around the chicken, alternating with grape clusters. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the salad. Serve immediately.

Potato Salad Recipe Chicken Salad Recipe Pasta Salad Recipe Crème Brûlée Recipe Cooking in France

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