New Flavours from Willow Tree Chicken Salad- Avocado & Cranberry, and Sriracha

August 25, 2016

There's a couple of things I've totally fallen for since moving to New England: summer days on sandy beaches, clam chowder (or chowdah), crispy russet leaves in Fall, and Willow Tree Chicken Salad.

When working downtown I used to pop 'round the corner to a small cafe for my lunch, my go to order being Willow Tree Chicken Salad on a french roll with cucumber and red onion. I first ordered it because it was the closest thing I could get to my British Coronation Chicken, but instead of the Indian spices and sweet sultanas tucked up amongst the mayo, I discovered the rich flavour of roasted chicken and rounded sweetness of brown sugar.

Willow Tree Farm recently reached out to offer me a few samples of some of their new flavours. Being totally onboard with prepared foods right now, with two small babies in the house anything that cuts down the time between opening the fridge and food being in my mouth is ok by me, I was excited to say a big 'heck yes' and eagerly awaited my goodies.

A couple days later my Avocado & Cranberry and Sriracha tubs arrived. Whilst full of enthusiasm and grand ideas for how best to enjoy these new delights, the babies had other ideas and it wasn't until this week that I finally got to put my ideas together!

Whilst the quality and fabulous flavours of these new products would stand alone, piled on a couple of plain slices of italian bread, these sandwich ideas take inspiration from Willow Tree's new recipes to kick it all up a notch:

Willow Tree Avocado Chicken Salad
on Tarragon & Tomato Roll with Crispy Bacon

To me, avocado's best mates are bacon and tomato, so when I pulled the Willow Tree Avocado Chicken Salad out of my care package I knew what was in the offing.

With ease of preparation being the key to any cooking I'm doing right now I used a pre-made bread dough and made it my own by adding some fresh flavours. 

After roasting some tomatoes, the last of my little crop, on the grill (keep that kitchen cool!) I let them cool before mashing them into the dough with some fresh chopped tarragon. 

I stuffed the dough, which didn't need a second rise (hell yes to time saving tactics), into a big fat muffin tin to make my rolls and cooked as per the instructions- around 15-20 minutes at 380-400f, until risen and golden brown. Check your rolls are completely cooked through by tipping one out of the tray and tapping its bum. It should sound hollow rather than a dull thud, which would indicate an uncooked, soggy center.

A generous dollop of the avocado chicken salad is crowned with crispy bacon and finely sliced red onion to give all that richness a bit of bite. 

Willow Tree Sriracha Chicken Salad
on Bibimbab style Spinach Flatbread with 'Slaw and Egg

I'll come clean, i'm not a massive fan of all things spicy. I can take a bit of heat, but for me it has to be tempered with some cooling flavours.

My favourite thing to squirt Sriracha onto is Bibimbap. The fresh vegetables and rich, runny egg is just right for a bit of spice so I wanted to make a simple sarnie version for my Willow Tree Sriracha Chicken Salad.

Using some more trusty pre-made bread dough, this time I mashed in some cooked, cooled and drained spinach before rolling it flat and cooking on a very hot cast iron pan. 

My dough was pretty cold and less than obliging to being flattened out. It was a little easier to roll flat after some gentle encouragement in the pan, so if your flatbread starts to puff up and look more like a spinach muffin, fret not. Hoik it out of the pan and give it another flattening after a couple of minutes in the pan.

To get my bibimbap flavours bouncing, I used some fresh coriander, lime and crushed peanuts, along with a crunchy 'slaw seasoned with some sesame oil and soy sauce.

The colours of this flatbread alone are enough to make your mouth water! You can totally serve this up sans egg, but there's nothing quite like the crispy fried white and rich runny yolk to really make you feel like you're eating a bibimbap tribute!

Thank you so much to Willow Tree Farm for sending me out the samples of their new products, whilst they didn't require me to make something with my goodies, it was great fun making up some tasty treats using their great recipes as a jumping off point!

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  1. Those both sound pretty good! Love you food photos by the way!

    Kirsten -