Sunlit, muggy evenings late in June are the time to introduce chilled foods for dinner. Some of my favorites are green beans, plain potatoes and soba noodles, all delicious when eaten straight out of the refrigerator. Cold artichokes and roasted vegetables are good too. On days when you can’t bare to turn on the stove for fear it will add even one degree of heat to an already stuffy, sticky kitchen, just serve up a cold dinner.
Cold chicken is a well-known way to solve the hot kitchen dilemma, but it’s also an easy one to embellish. I have been loving the chicken we have been getting from our new CSA share with West Wind Acres Farm. We pick up 6 to 10 pounds of chicken on the third Tuesday of every month and it has been lovely. I had roasted one of our most recent CSA chickens last week and was ever so grateful for some cold, leftover cooked chicken meat a couple evenings later as the sun set on the hottest day of the year so far. I’ve made chicken salad with sweet potatoes before, but this time added the chopped parsley, which I don’t think is essential.
RECIPE: SWEET POTATO CHICKEN SALAD
2 cups cooked chicken meat cut in to 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup cooked sweet potato cut in to small cubes
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
Basically you just mix all these ingredients together in a bowl and serve on top of lettuce (or in a hot dog roll, which is how my husband ate it). I like chicken salad with at least one sweet thing in it, whether that be apple chunks, raisins, or sweet potatoes. If your sweet potatoes are kind of soft, I recommend mixing them in after you have already combined the rest of the ingredients so that it doesn’t get too mashed.