Recipe Submitted by : Russian Recipe Book
Duration : 60 Minutes
Serves : 5
About : It’s hard to imagine any Soviet or post-Soviet Russian holiday table without salad Olivier. The dish was invented by Lucien Olivier, a French chef at one of the fanciest restaurants in the mid-19th century St. Petersburg. The story of this salad is somewhat of a crime novel – the recipe was stolen by Olivier’s assistant and eventually simplified and made affordable for the workers and peasants. You can read the rest of the story here, but this is what you need to know about the salad itself. It is much more filling than a typical green salad. It makes a great appetizer but go easy or you won’t have any room left for the entrée. Finally, thanks to its popularity, the salad has evolved into countless different forms with meat being the most variable ingredient. Beef, chicken, sausage, poached, smoked, roasted –you name it! It’s a good way to dispose of leftover cooked meat as long as it’s still fresh of course. If you want to try to recreate the original fancy Olivier’s version whose secret the chef took to his grave, go shopping or hunting for grouse meat, smoked duck and crayfish tails… just don’t get poached yourself in the process. Here is a recipe for the rest of us serfs.
1 lb. chicken breast or 1 lb. bologna
2 medium-sized potatoes
1 large carrot
3 small whole dill pickles
½ small sweet onion
One 12-oz. can of sweet peas
6 Tbsp. mayonnaise or sour cream. Olive oil-based mayonnaise enhances the flavor.
Salt to taste
Parsley for decoration
- Poach or roast the chicken breast. Set aside to let cool.
- Hard boil the eggs (at least 10 minutes) and let them cool.
- Wash the potatoes and carrot. Do not peel until they are cooked.
- Put vegetables in a pan and simmer until tender (20-25 min.); poke with a knife to check readiness. If the knife goes in easily, remove from pan. If the carrot is ready, remove it and continue cooking the potatoes.
- Alternatively, you may steam the vegetables. Let them cool and peel. To make peeling easier, put cooked potato and carrot under cold water for a few seconds.
- Cut the cooked and cooled chicken breast or bologna into small cubes.
- Peel and chop the eggs.
- Cut the potatoes, carrot, and pickles into small cubes, and chop the onion finely.
- Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add sweet peas (drain the liquid first). Mix everything well, and then add the mayo or sour cream.
- Mix everything again and then add salt to taste, if necessary.
- Decorate with snips of parsley.
- Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Serve as a main dish, appetizer, or salad.