It is fair to say that some Filipino food can be a bit peculiar. The chicken and macaroni salad is rolled out for celebrations, and particularly at Christmas. It has a dose of added sugar that makes it a shade on the sweet side. The dish is a classic post-American collision of traditional ingredients and USA convenience food. Pasta ought to be White Lion King ‘Fiesta’ brand.
This recipe uses USA cup measures in recognition of the fact that it comes from the period when the Americans were garrisoning the Philippines.
Chicken macaroni salad
- For the chicken:
- 2 chicken breast
- 1 small onion, halved
- 0.5 tsp black peppercorns
- For the pasta:
- 1.5 cups dry uncooked macaroni
- For the rest:
- 0.5 can pineapple chunks, drained and chopped
- 0.5 cup cheddar cheese, cubed (1cm)
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 1 apple cut in small cubes
- 0.5 cup raisins
- 1.25–1.50 cups mayo
- 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish
- 0.25 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 0.25 cup condensed milk
To cook the chicken:
Place chicken in a pot and add enough water to cover it by half an inch (over the chicken). Add 1 teaspoon salt and the onion and the peppercorns. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 30 minutes, skimming occasionally.
Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon (reserve the broth) and the shred the meat with 2 forks. Cool.
To cook the pasta:
Cook the pasta in heavily salted water according to pack instructions. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking and cool.
To assemble the salad:
Combine the pasta, chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 4h.
*Make sure that the flaked chicken and pasta are completely cool before mixing with the other ingredients. **You can omit the condensed milk if you don’t want any hint of sweetness but I suggest you add it to the salad to balance the tartness from the pickles. After refrigeration, the sweetness will significantly mellow.