Lyric Benson

Lyric Benson is a gifted singer, songwriter, poet, and artist.  Her debut album Lyric's Love Light Revolution has earned praise from fans and critics.  Lyric is also a supporter of many worthy causes including the Global Peace Initiative, David Lynch Foundation, The Wholeness, and Stop Hunger Now.  She kindly shared a tasty recipe by her friend, Crystal Jenkins.


(vegetarian version below main recipe)

Serves 4-6

3 cups water
1 cup chicken stock, homemade preferred
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 whole organic chicken breasts, split
1 celery stalk, diced very fine
1 ripe pear, cored and sliced very thin
1 large avocado or 2 medium avocados
1/4 c. hazelnuts, toasted, chopped roughly
12 sweet red grapes, halved
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon fines herbes
1 tablespoon lemon juice, to taste
Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Finely chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish
4 medium size red potatoes
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided

Chicken salad:
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle all over with salt and let sit. 
Meanwhile, bring water, stock, and thyme to a boil in a large saut√© pan, reduce to low and add chicken. Simmer for about 6 minutes, uncovered. Remove pan from heat and cover. Let sit for about 15 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let cool while preparing the salad. 
In a mixing bowl combine celery, pear, avocado, hazelnuts, grapes, tarragon, fines herbes, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Carefully mash avocado with a fork and gently fold all ingredients together until blended but still a bit chunky. Dice or shred chicken and add, stirring gently to mix. Cover and put in fridge if not serving immediately. 

Wash and dry the potatoes. Grate and transfer to a strainer over a large bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Using paper towels or kitchen towels, squeeze as much water as possible from the potatoes. Take your time, the drier they are the crisper they will be. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add one egg and nutmeg, stir to combine with your hands. Heat skillet on medium high adding 2 tablespoons sunflower oil. When hot but not smoking divide potato mixture into 4-6 even portions and shape into thin patties with your hands. Carefully lower into oil taking care not to splatter yourself. Once browned on one side remove latkes and rest on paper towels. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and allow to heat again. Add the latkes, browning the other side until golden and crispy. Remove and let drain on paper towels. 
Serve immediately with a big scoop of salad and a garnish of parsley, a wedge of lemon, and a little sprinkle of paprika. 

Vegetarian version:
Substituting thinly sliced radishes and/or hard boiled eggs for the chicken is delicious. 


Thanks to Lyric and Crystal for sharing this recipe.  If you enjoy the recipe, please volunteer your time and contribute to your local food pantry.