03 May 2012
Buffet Mousse Ring
Lots of chicken and ham, tangy pineapple and crisp water chestnuts go into this rich soufflelike salad mold.
Makes 16 servings, 1/2 cup each.
2 large whole chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
2 cups water
1 small onion, sliced
Handful of celery tops
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 can (about 9 ounces) pineapple chunks
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 drops liquid red pepper seasoning
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 pound cooked am
1 can(5 ounces water chestnuts, drained
1. Combine chicken breasts, water, onion, celery tops, salt, bay leaf and peppercorns in a large saucepan; simmer; covered, 30 minted, or until chicken s tender.
2. While chicken cooks, drain syrup from pineapple unto a 1-cup measure; add water. if needed, to make1/2 cup. Stir in gelatin to soften.Set pineapple aside for steps 8 and 9.
3. Remove chicken broth; strain broth into a 4-cup measure; add water, if needed, to make 3 cups. Return to same saucepan; stir in softened gelatin.
4. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and red pepper seasoning. Measure out 1/2 cup and set aside for making toppings in step 8. Cool remaining gelatin-mixture in saucepan for step 6.
5. Slip skin from chicken; remove meat from bones, then dice into small cubes. (There should be about 1 1/2 cups). Place in a medium-size bowl.
6.Blend mayonnaise or salad dressing and mustard into gelatin in saucepan. Pour int an ice-cube tray; freeze 20 minutes, or just until firm about 1 inch in from edges.
7. To make the fancy top on mold, set aside enough ham to make twelve 2-inch-long strips, each 1/4 inch thick.Otherwise dice all of ham. (There should be about 1 1/2 cups.)Slice water chestnuts very thin. Add chestnuts and diced ham to chicken in bowl.
8. Place an 8-cup ring mold in a bowl or pan partly filled with ice cubes and water to speed chilling. If making a plain top, pour the 1/2 cup saved gelatin into mold;chill until sticky-firm. To make the fancy top, pour 1/4 cup of the saved gelatin int mold;chill until mixture is as thick as unbeaten egg white. Arrange some of the chicken, ham strips, pineapple tidbits and water chestnuts slices in an attractive pattern in gelatin. Spoon remaining 1/4 cup gelatin over; chill until sticky-firm.
9. Spoon partly frozen gelatin mixture into a chilled large bowl; beat until thick and fluffy; fold in remaining chicken, ham, pineapple and water chestnuts. Spoon over sticky-firm gelatin layer in mold. Chill several hours, or overnight.
10. To unmold, run a sharp-tip, thin-blade knife around top of mold, then dip very quickly in and out of a pan of hot water. Moisten a small cookie sheet with cold water.(This will keep mold from sticking and make it easy to slide onto serving tray later.) Cover mold with cookie sheet; turn upside down, then gently lift off mold. Chill until serving time.
11. Slide mold from cookie sheet onto a flat serving tray, lifting and pushing mold at the same time with a spatula moistened with water. Fill center of ring with salad greens, if you wish. Tips for the hostess: Don't hesitate to make this mold a day or even two ahead,as it will hold well in the refrigerator. Unmold about an hour before serving to avoid last-minute fussing. This ring, as well as the Cranberry Crown, should be served on a large flat tray or platter.