Gay Cook’s minted chicken and melon salad

Chicken and Minted SaladServes 4 – 5
 
This salad marries fresh ginger and mint to compliment the chicken and the fruit that varies from melon to peach or nectarine or even strawberries. Cutting the chicken and fruit into cubes or long shapes makes for an eye appealing salad. A melon baller is a useful tool to make melon balls. My method of storing fresh ginger root is to enclosed the root in a plastic bag and freeze it. Grate the hard ginger using a grater with medium holes.
 
3 single chicken boneless breasts or 4 thighs with skin 
2-inch (5 cm) piece of fresh ginger root, sliced or grate
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1½ cups (375 ml) halved strawberries or use melon baller to form ripe melon or mango balls or cut nectarine or peach into cubes or halve seedless grapes 
1/2 cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
1/2 cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
2 tbsp (25 ml) maple syrup or honey 
Salt and pepper to taste
4-5 tbsp (50-65 ml) coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves about 5 stalks
Lettuce leaves used to plate the salad if desired 
Garnish: pansies or nasturtium flowers if available
 

  1. To cook the chicken, bring 2 cups (500 ml) water or enough water to immerse chicken with the ginger and salt. Simmer breasts for 12 – 15 minutes or 18 – 20 minutes for the thighs. Remove chicken from water to cool; pull off skin and debone the thighs. Tear the chicken into 1-inch long pieces or cut chicken into rectangular-shaped pieces and place in a bowl  
  2. Use the melon baller to form balls the melon 

In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, honey or maple syrup, and season with salt and pepper and fold into the chicken and fruit adding mint until well coated. Taste again for seasoning to add a little more if needed. If using lettuce, place the leaves on a platter to make a large cup to hold the salad or use the melon shell if available. Decorate with mint leaves, pansies or nasturtium flowers.

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