Thursday, August 16, 2012

Salpicon de Pollo (Avocado Chicken Salad)

Salpicon in Mexican Cuisine is a salad made of shredded meat, finely diced vegetables & herbs (onion, tomato, avocado, green chilies, & cilantro) dressed in lime or vinegar, salt, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. It is served on "Tostadas" which are crispy round fried tortillas (think of it as a large round tortilla chip) topped with shredded lettuce, your favorite salsas, and Mexican cream if desired. 

Salpicon is typically made with shredded beef, but I have chosen to make it with chicken breast, because it's well lighter, healthier, and it's what I had on hand. Also there are a lot of variations (some have cubes of cheese, some olives, capers, strands of spicy pickled jalapenos and carrots and even some include green beans) as you can see it really depends on the preference of the cook.

My version is very simple chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, and LOTS of diced avocado dressed in white wine vinegar (lime can be used in a pinch), salt to taste, and fruity extra-virgin olive oil. Think of it as a chopped guacamole with shredded chicken (beef can be used too, or for non meat eaters, canned tuna or canned salmon would be delicious) really you can be creative use what you like (even chopped celery would probably be good in here) however I do not recommend using chopped cucumbers or lettuce mixed into the salad because they will turn soggy and release liquid when left to cool in the fridge or overnight.

Well here's the recipe :)

BEFORE YOU BEGIN you have to boil, and then cool and shredd chicken breast here's how:
(1) Wash chicken breast in running cold water, cover with water in a large pot, add 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder, a piece of onion, and 2 cloves garlic. Bring to a boil and boil 30 minutes until tender, remove, cool, and shred.

It is now ready to use for the salad. The same can be done with beef but boil 1 to 1 1/2 hours (use flank steak or beef sold for shredding)

-2 large cooked chicken breasts or 1 - 1 1/2 lb. flank/ beef (cooked, cooled, and shredded)

-6 roma tomatoes diced
-1 medium onion minced
-1 bunch of cilantro minced
-3 fresh jalapeno peppers finely minced (more or less to taste, you may omit if you can't stand the heat or de-vein/ remove the inside and only use the green flesh lol.)
-5-6 medium hass avocadoes diced
-1/4- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar or lime juice(depends how tangy/ sour you want it, use less if you like)
-1/4 cup olive oil (more or less to your preference)
-salt to taste (at least 1 teaspoon)
-black pepper to taste (optional)

(1) Mix all ingredients on the ingredient list together

(2) Your salad is now complete  (after mixing it in a bowl I transferred to a serving dish it can be eaten right away or put in the fridge a couple of hours to let the flavors meld)
 Ingredients to serve 
-Tostadas (you buy these pre-made or you deep-fry corn tortillas and drain)
-1/2 a head of washed ice berg lettuce finely shredded (julienned), kept in ice water to prevent wilting or drying
-Mexican cream (just thin out regular sour cream if you cannot get it with a little milk to a thick but smoother cream)
-your favorite hot sauces/ salsa (I used a chile de arbol sauce, and a raw spicy green avocado based salsa which I'll post in the future, you can see other salsa recipes on my blog on the left hand index under "Mexican Salsas"

I didn't take a picture of the salad assembled on the tostada, because I forgot but here's the table set up, I like to spread some of the cream on the tostada, then top it with shredded lettuce and salsa
 P.S. if you like this post you may enjoy another post i have for "Tostadas de Pollo" (chicken tostadas) it's basically a de-cnstructed version of this. ALSO a already cooked rotisseri chicken that is store bought may be used to skip having to boil the chicken meat.

ALSO... I know I haven't posted much but jsut been enjoying my summer, lounging, went on a little travel, spending it with my loved ones, and yes I do cook almost daily but just haven't had time to make a post, I want to thank all the readers that stick around :) ... there's more posts to come :D