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What recipes do you cook on Auto-Pilot?


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What recipes do you cook on Auto-Pilot?

sweet100s | Sep 21, 2007 10:01 PM

What recipes do you cook on Auto-Pilot?

By cooking on Auto-Pilot, I mean:
- Without having to look much at a written recipe as you cook.
- When you go to the grocery store, you easily remember which ingredients to get without having a list.
- It almost always turns out well.

When I'm stressed or in a rush, I will still cook from scratch if there's an "Auto-Pilot" recipe that sounds good. If not, it will be take-out. I can talk on the phone, cook with company, and all is easy if it's an auto-pilot recipe.

My favorite recent addition to my Auto-Pilot list is Chicken Salad from recipes posted in this thread on Chowhound:
I've made chicken salad before, but it didn't turn out as well as when I made it based on suggestions here, so it's worth committing to Auto-Pilot memory.

The process of getting something in AutoPilot mode for me means re-writing the recipe in a way that makes it easy to remember, then doing it once.

For me and the Chicken Salad recipes at the link above, I re-wrote them like this:

Chicken Salad variations

a) Poach & Prep the chicken
Preheat Toaster oven to 350

REMEMBER to salt & pepper the boneless skinless chicken!!!
Cook your seasoned boneless chicken breast covered with heavy cream . Cook till breasts are your favorite temp. (I use 158 degrees Farenheit and count on a 2-3 degree rise after taking it out of oven). In my toaster oven (the Krups FCB2) this takes 38 minutes @ 350.

Cool in the cream. While they are cooling, dice up the other ingredients you’re going to put in the chicken salad.

When cool, get chicken out, discard the cream, and tear into not too small pieces.
Trick: If you overcooked the chicken, use the food processor to mince it so no one will notice. The flavor will still be good and now the texture will be also.
(I overcooked them the first time as the original directions said 45 minutes and my chicken breasts were already overcooked by then – my Krups toaster oven seems to cook food ~ 20% faster than most recipes.)

b) Chicken Salad Glue

‘glue’ Options – use just enough to hold the chicken together
- just mayo
- ½ plain non-fat yogurt, ½ mayo
- 1/3 plain non-fat yogurt, 1/3 mayo, 1/3 sour cream

c) Chicken Salad Add-ins
Thanks to the everyone fromthis thread who contributed

- fresh lemon juice, lemon peel ( minced ) roasted walnuts, curry, fresh tarragon, Hellmann's Mayo, and spices to taste...Refrigerate at least 4-6 hours...

- Chicken, mayo, chopped basil, and parmesan cheese is amazing.

- + almonds, + scallions, + fresh lemon juice - 1/2 Tablespoon

- Chicken, chopped celery, dried cranberries, pecans, apple cider vinegar, honey, and poppy seeds, S&P.

Pictures of tonight's chicken salad here:

Thanks Chowhounds!

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