Saturday, October 30, 2010

RECIPE - Brazilian Chicken Salad (Salpicão)

As mentioned in this earlier post on Flavors of Brazil, the Brazilian chicken salad called salpicão can be wonderful when it's homemade and light, and can be dreadful when it's a commercially made stodgy mess. Sort of like North American potato salad, which can range from heavenly to hellish depending on who made it and what kind of profit margin was desired.

This recipe from the Brazilian food blog Frango com Banana is a good example of a homestyle recipe for salpicão. Being a very traditional recipe it called for canned corn and canned peas - both standard ingredients in salpicão. I'm not a fan of either, so in my translation of the recipe, I've substituted fresh or frozen corn and peas. If you want to duplicate an authentic salpicão, please feel free to open a can of corn and one of peas instead and add them to the mix.

This recipe, like many such recipes for salads and cold dishes, is a guideline not a template. Feel free to substitute and modify. If you want the final product to be salpicão, however, you may NOT omit the packaged shoestring potatoes. They're what makes salpicão salpicão and what prevents it from just being chicken salad.
RECIPE - Brazilian Chicken Salad (Salpicão)

1 whole chicken breast, boneless and skinless, poached, cooled and shredded
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peans, cooked and cooled
2 small green apples (Granny Smith or similar) cored, peeled an cubed
1/3 cup seedless raisins or sultanas
2 springs fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup good-quality commercial or homemade mayonnaise
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 standard package shoestring potatoes
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, grated carrot, corn, peas, apples, raisins, parsley and red onion. Stir well with wooden spoon to combine. Add 1/2 of the package of shoestring potatoes, and stir again. Add the mayonnais and creme fraiche or sour cream, and stir until all ingredients are combined and coated with dressing. Taste for seasoning and and add salt and pepper to taste (remember that the shoestring potatoes and already salted, so be careful not to oversalt).

Put into a large serving bowl, or onto a serving platter, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 package of shoestring potatoes over the top.


  1. It's a little funny to me, that you say the authentic style is from a can.. any Brazilian I have met is pretty amused by all the canned food we have in the US, it just doesn't compare to the fresh things they have available.

    Besides that, it's pretty awesome. I'm still trying to figure out how my fiances grandmother does it.. I will try to update the next time I got to Mato Grosso do Sul.

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  3. One kitchen I worked in had a Brazilian girl and there were many Brazilian grills and markets around. The grills are amazing, usually have a huge buffet of hot and cold foods and they bring out endless giant skewers of meat. So good. It was really a treat working with that girl because she would make lunch a lot for us. Amazing spicy soups, potato salad, avocado milkshakes, but my favorite was her chicken salad. Pretty much just how this recipe is except with pineapple. I never liked American chicken salad, I'm not big on mayo, but this is so sweet and delicious Love it

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