Салат оливье (Salat Olivier)

published Dec 28, 2021
Салат оливье (Salat Olivier)
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Credit: Leela Cyd from the Kachka Cookbook

Olivier is all about status. In its original incarnation, this pre-Revolutionary indulgence featured czar-worthy ingredients, ranging from grouse to crayfish to caviar. And in the Soviet era, the most coveted ingredient? Peas. To be exact, canned peas. Of course, during Soviet times, you could only get canned peas if you knew the right people. And so you would save that high-status luxury can for the most special of occasions: New Year’s Eve.

Beyond the peas, anything is fair game. You can make Olivier with ham, doktorskaya bologna, or chicken (if you don’t happen to have grouse and crayfish, that is). And each ingredient has its devotees. But the Frumkin clan stands squarely with poultry. And so what you have here is a recipe for the best chicken salad you’ll ever make. Make sure to take the time to dice all of your vegetables nice and small — as a general rule, everything should be about the size of a pea.

Салат оливье (Salat Olivier)

Makes 3 quarts

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large roaster chicken

  • 6

    large yukon gold potatoes, peeled

  • 2 cups

    fresh peas (my seasonal choice, although frozen peas are an acceptable substitute — and if you really want to be authentically Soviet, go for canned)

  • 1

    large sweet onion, cut in a 1/3-inch dice

  • 7

    Israeli pickles, cut in a 1/3-inch dice

  • 5

    hard-boiled eggs, cut in a 1/3-inch dice

  • 1 cup

    mayonnaise

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

  • A hand of pea shoots for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water, and add in a generous amount of salt. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat until it’s just high enough to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer, skimming off anything that comes to the top, until the chicken is cooked and you can easily pull the joints apart — begin checking after about 30 minutes, but if you’ve got the heat nice and gentle, you shouldn’t have to worry about overcooking things. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and let it cool until you can handle it (reserve the poaching broth for another use). Discard the skin, pull the meat from the bones, and cut into a 1/3-inch dice.

  2. While the chicken is cooking, place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat until it’s just high enough to maintain a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon, and set them aside to cool. Bring the water back up to a boil, add the sweet peas to cook for 30 seconds, then drain and shock them in ice water.

  3. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together, and season to taste. Serve right away — if you’re making this in advance, refrigerate, but let it come room temperature before serving. Best served the day it’s made.

Recipe Notes

Excerpted from the book KACHKA by Bonnie Frumkin Morales. Copyright © 2017 by Bonnie Frumkin Morales. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Leela Cyd.