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Crunchy chicken salad

ingredients

serves 4
275 g (10 oz) boneless cooked chicken
225 g (8 oz) brown rice
600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
1 large red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
100 g (4 oz) frozen peas, cooked and cooled
50 g (2 oz) carrot, grated
75 g (3 oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
200 g (7 oz) commercial mayonnaise
1 tablespoon tomato puree
generous pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

dressing

2 tablespoons olive or salad oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons wine vinegar or dry white wine
pinch of mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Cook the brown rice in the chicken stock for about 45 minutes or until tender. If necessary, top up the pan with boiling water during the latter part of the cooking time.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to mix.

3. Drain any excess liquid from the rice, then mix in the red pepper, spring onions, peas and carrot.

4. While the rice is still warm, fork the dressing through the mixture. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

5. When ready to serve, add the walnuts to the rice and mix thoroughly. Spoon into a serving dish and arrange the cooked chicken on top of the rice.

6. Mix the mayonnaise with the tomato puree and sugar. It should be the consistency of a coating sauce; if it is too thick, stir in a little hot water.

7. Carefully spoon the mayonnaise on top of the cooked chicken, then sprinkle the top with chopped parsley, if liked.

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