You’ve most likely have had Chicken-foot Souse, but have you ever eaten pickled chicken breast? I had it for the first time several weeks ago whilst on a tour around the island (Barbados) with work colleagues.
Everyone brought food and drink to share – sandwiches, pasta dishes, cakes, cutters and more. One of the tastiest dishes was the pickled chicken breast brought by a friend and colleague, Joan Sealy. She had boiled the chicken breast, cut and shred it to small pieces and tossed it with lots of fresh lime juice, salt, hot pepper, cucumbers and herbs – very much like souse, but this was more of a pickle. Apart from the taste, the dish was light; it also packed and travelled well. As you may know, not all foods are suited for long distance travel at room temperature wrapped or locked away in containers. Pickled chicken breast is the type of dish, like souse, that improves in flavour the longer it stands.
Usually the chicken breast is my least favourite part of the bird, simply because it is too meaty. I am a gal who likes bones with a little meat, therefore, I am always looking for ways to use the chicken breast after breaking down a whole chicken. One of my go-to ways to use the breast is to make a mayonnaise-based salad. However, this pickled chicken breast provides me with another way to prepare chicken breast. Like any cold salad the picked chicken breast can be eaten on its own or with fried or boiled breadfruit or cassava. I’ve eaten mine with sliced apples tossed in just before serving. The sweetness perks up the pickle.
With this time of the year being filled with picnics, liming and light cooking, a bowl of pickled chicken breast would be a most welcome addition to any occasion.
● 1 large whole chicken breast (bone-in or boneless)
● 1 whole onion peeled and halved
● ½ carrot, cut into chunks
● 2 sprigs Guyanese/Chinese celery halved
● 1 sprig fresh thyme
● 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
● Salt to taste
● Fresh lime juice
● Finely minced cucumbers
● Finely minced hot peppers
● Finely minced parsley
● Thinly sliced scallions (white or purple parts only)
● Salt to taste
1. Rinse the chicken breast well and add to pot along with herbs, peppercorns, salt to taste and water to cover the chicken. Place over high heat, give the pot a stir, cover and bring to a boil. When the pot comes to a boil, remove any froth that appears then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until chicken is cooked through (about 20 minutes). Let rest for 20 minutes in liquid then, remove and let stand until cool to handle.
2. Shred chicken and set aside.
1. While chicken is cooking, add all the ingredients to a bowl, toss well to mix and set aside.
2. Add shredded chicken to pickling mixture and toss well to coat and mix. Set aside for 30 minutes before serving, tossing at 10-minute intervals.
3. Serve at room temperature or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use; works as a cold salad.
● If using boneless chicken breast, reduce cooking time to 15 minutes.
● Strain and reserve the liquid in which the chicken was cooked and use it as stock to cook.