Easier ways to chop chicken?
October 26, 2010 9:15 AM Subscribe
I adore chicken salad, but I hate chopping. What gadgets, appliances, or techniques can I use to streamline the process of finely cubing cooked chicken breasts?
posted by Bardolph to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I like to make a very classic mayonnaise-based chicken salad, with celery, onion and almonds, using chopped (not shredded or ground) boiled chicken. We are also a very pro-chicken-salad family, so I have to make it in large batches, often using as many as 10-15 breasts at a time. That's a whole lot of solid protein to convert into half-inch cubes, and the chopping often takes me 45 minutes or more to complete. I use a good chef's knife and what seems like a fairly intuitive cutting technique (fillet the cooked breast, then cut into rods, then cut crosswise into cubes), but it's still a colossal, time-consuming pain in the rear that makes me not want to make chicken salad as much as I otherwise might.
I use my trusty and well-beloved Cuisinart food processor to prep the other ingredients, but I haven't had much luck getting it to chop chicken. Since the cooked breasts are solid but not crisp, the standard blade tends to bounce them around and shave bits off them, yielding a nasty mix of huge unchopped chicken chunks and fine chicken puree. I've looked around to see if they offer any protein-specific specialty blades, but haven't found anything yet.
This seems like such a simple cooking problem, so it's hard to believe, in our entrepreneurial era, that someone out there hasn't found and marketed a solution. Any ideas? Should I be trying a mandoline, for instance? A food mill? Something else entirely different?