Ensalada de Gallina (Chicken Salad) – Venezuelan Christmas Specialty - Global Storybook

Ensalada de Gallina (Chicken Salad) – Venezuelan Christmas Specialty

Gisela González

Gisela González is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Venezuela).

The dinner on December 24th (Christmas Eve) in Venezuela traditionally includes a set of delicious and very nutritional dishes.  Hallaca, ham bread, pork legs and chicken salad (Ensalada de Gallina literally means “hen salad” though we use regular chicken meat) plus desserts, such as “Dulce de Lechoza” (confectionery papaya) are all served on our Christmas tables.

This year countless Venezuelan families will have to change this ancient tradition because of the difficulties in finding the ingredients, as well as the high costs associated with them.  However there is one simple dish which still has a chance to stay on our tables: Ensalada de Gallina.  This chicken and vegetable salad is very easy to prepare, so I wanted share its recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of potatoes (or 4 large potatoes)
  • 1/2 kg carrots (or 2 large carrots)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • a cup of peas
  • 1 apple (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • a pinch of salt

Ensalada de Gallina (Chicken Salad) – Venezuelan Christmas Specialty - Global StorybookHow to prepare the traditional Venezuelan Ensalada de Gallina (Chicken Salad):

1. The first thing that you should do is boil the chicken breasts in a salted water.  You can also add some spices to the water, according to your taste.

2. Next, peel all the potatoes and carrots and then chop them into small cubes.  Place them in a separate pot to boil in a salted water.  This should take approximately 10 – 15 minutes.  You must remove them as soon as they become soft, and then wait a few minutes until they cool down to a normal room temperature.  While you wait, take the chicken out of the water, remove its skin and cut it into small slices.

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Ensalada de Gallina (Chicken Salad) – Venezuelan Christmas Specialty - Global Storybook3. Now, mix all the ingredients well in a large bowl, including the chicken slices.  If you’re going to add an apple –  chop it into small cubes.  You can also add peas.  Finally, add a few table spoons of mayonnaise until the salad has the desired creamy consistency.

I personally like to add a bit of chopped parsley but this depends on your individual taste.  As to the apple – it’s definitely better to add it to the salad, but unfortunately in Venezuela one kg of apples costs one month of work, so… we’re not going to eat apples this year.

Also, if you want to prepare your own mayonnaise at home, I have the following recipe: mix one egg, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vinegar in a blender.  Then slowly pour a bit of oil, until you get the desired thickness.

This delicious and simple recipe can serve up to 6 people.  I hope you enjoy it!

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