Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Chicken Salad Tortilla Rollups

   Under normal circumstances, I don't like chicken salad.  That is because under "normal circumstances" other people are making it.  I am not a huge mayo fan.  I understand the need for it in certain situations, but unnecessary globs of it make me nauseous.  My first run in with chicken salad was my grandmother's (or it may have been egg salad... I am honestly not sure).  There was so much mayonnaise in it that she shouldn't have even bothered to put anything else in the bowl.  It was a mess of the fatty, thick condiment with crunchy little chunks of what I can only assume was celery and weird semi-mushy things that I think were grapes.  In the last couple of years, I have learned that I really like chicken salad... when I make it myself.  Light mayo is an amazing thing when used properly, especially when cut by the miracle condiment that most Americans have only recently latched onto:  Greek yogurt.  Use the "dressing" in all your chicken salads to create a lighter, healthier (and more flavorful) version of the picnic classic.  It may seem like there isn't enough of the base;  trust me there is!  But, if you feel it is too dry (maybe you have more chicken than I did) add a little extra mayo or yogurt.

   I wish I had a picture of these to show you because they are so freakin' pretty!  I kid you not.  I call it "Winter Chicken Salad" because it has some familiar holiday flavors.  Dried cranberries and walnuts add a little sweetness and tang, some nuttiness, and fantastic texture.  Herb de Provence gives it a hint of uniqueness without hitting you in the face with a fistful of lavender.  Wrap it up in a lovely green spinach tortilla and you have a simple, beautiful red, white, and green finger-food perfect for any occasion! 

Winter Chicken Salad Tortilla Rollups
2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (~2 lb, or 1 small, whole rotisserie chicken)
1 C toasted walnuts, chopped
1 C dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 C low-fat Greek yogurt (plain, obviously)
1/2 C light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp herb de Provence (or thyme) (plus extra if roasting your own chicken)
salt and pepper
5-6 10 inch spinach wraps

   Liberally salt and pepper chicken breasts on meat and bone side.   Sprinkle with herb de provence (rosemary or thyme would also work).  Roast at 375 deg F for 35-40 minutes until done.  Allow to cool.  Remove skin from chicken.  Take meat off bone.  Chop meat into small pieces.
   Mix yogurt, mayo, garlic and herb de provence.  Fold in chicken, cranberries, and walnuts.  Salt and pepper to taste.
   Spread a thin layer over the surface of the wrap.  Roll up.  Wrap with plastic wrap.  Refigerate for at least 1 hour.  (Over night is better.)  Use a very sharp serrated knife to cut 3/4 inch slices (discard end pieces that are not pretty.... or snack for the cook.)  You'll get 10-12 slices per roll.
   Makes about 50-60 slices.

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