May is upon us and the warmer weather has finally made an appearance in central New York, Lol! And with May, comes nicer weather, outdoor cooking, beautiful flowers and Mother’s Day. I have to honestly say, that each year that passes the pain of losing your Mom does get a little easier, but not any easier when Mother’s Day comes around. So, every year I honor my Mother by preparing those recipes that she so lovingly fed her family with. Ensalada de Pollo (Chicken Salad) as simple and basic as it may seem, was special to us. Mom would only prepare it a once or twice a year. I laugh when I think how we would announce to each other with great excitement, “Hey! Mom’s fixing Ensalada de Pollo!” We couldn’t wait! I am not sure where the recipe originated from, but it does seem to be typical of where my Mom’s family is from, which is Monterrey, N.L., Mexico. Either way, the recipe brings back great memories, even though I was in charge of shredding the chicken most times, ha, ha, ha…. It’s still not my favorite job in the kitchen. The only thing I did different in the recipe that I remember, was to add a little lemon juice. I do that with all my salads that contain mayonnaise. So, to all the beautiful Mom’s past and present, thank you for your unselfish love, wonderful memories and delicious recipes. Happy Mother’s Day, Feliz Dia de las Madres.
Ensalada de Pollo~Mexican Chicken Salad
Ensalada de Pollo
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup peas
1 stalk celery, finely diced
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded ( I had leftover grilled chicken breast)
1 cup mayonnaise, more or less (I used light)
Juice of half a lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons of the brine from pickled jalpeños
salt and pepper to taste
You will also need
1 head or iceberg lettuce, washed
Whole or sliced pickled jalapeños
Variations: For a variation on this recipe, you could add some diffrent ingredients such as toasted cumin, hot sauce, avocado, diced tomato, crumbled cotija cheese or mexican crema.
1. Add the carrots and potatoes to a sauce pan. Cover with water, add salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and rinse in cold water, set aside.
2. To a large bowl, add the chicken, mayonnaise, lemon juice and jalapeño brine. Stir well to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the carrots, potatoes and peas. Taste for salt, pepper and jalapeño brine. Cover and chill for a few hours. Serve over a bed of lettuce with pickled jalapeños and saltine crackers. Yields 6 servings.
If you can find La Costeña brand of jalapeños, it’s the best tasting!