Saturday, February 22, 2014

Salpicão Salada- Chicken and Potato Salad- Brazilian Food Recipes


Salpicão can be wonderful when it's homemade and light. It is a traditional chicken salad from Brazil. It is a great summer food and comes in handy when you are a bit pressed for time and want to make something great for a summer pot luck. In this case, prepare all of the ingredients and put them in separate containers to transport and combine them all into the serving dish when ready to serve.

When making this creamy salad, most Brazilian cooks include hearts of palm, which come from the stems of certain palm trees. Hearts of palm are available canned in most grocery stores, but if you have trouble finding them, the salad is just as tasty without them. Also, to save time you may want to use a cup or two of packaged shoestring potatoes instead of frying your own. I have tried buying at and I'm satisfied. If you don't have time, buy it at Native Forest Organic Hearts of Palm. This is the bestselling brand.

Heart of palm, also called palm heart, chonta, palm cabbage or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (notably the coconut (Cocos nucifera), Palmito Juçara (Euterpe edulis), Açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), sabal (Sabal spp.) and pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes) palms). Harvesting of many non-cultivated or wild single-stemmed palms results in palm tree death (e.g. Geonoma edulis). However, other palm species are clonal or multi-stemmed plants (e.g. Prestoea acuminata, Euterpe oleracea) and moderate harvesting will not kill the entire clonal palm. Heart of palm may be eaten on its own, and often it is eaten in a salad.

As of 2008, Costa Rica is the primary source of fresh palm hearts in the United States. Peach palm is also cultivated in Hawaii, and now has limited distribution on the mainland, primarily to the restaurant trade. Florida's wild Sabal palmetto or cabbage palm was once a source of hearts of palm but is now protected by conservation law.

Brazil was the highest producer of uncultivated hearts of palm, but in the 1990s its quality went down - mostly because of unsustainable poaching for stems (called colete, Portuguese for "vest") of the main producing species, Euterpe edulis - which is now considered as threatened with extinction in the wild. This left the market open for Ecuador to export its cultivated hearts of palm. Ecuador is now one of the main producers of hearts of palm. France is the largest importer of hearts of palm.

What is Hearts of Palm Taste Like?

Hard to describe what they taste like. They kind of look like white asparagus minus the tips. The texture is crisp without the 'crunch'.  They are soft, yet firm to the touch, and have a mild sweetness. The is flavor similar to artichokes for some culinary experts it is delicately flavored resembling white asparagus for others.

How to Select Hearts of Palm

Choose moist, intact hearts of palm that are unblemished. Avoid or discard bruised or overly soft stalks.

How to Store Hearts of Palm

Fresh hearts of palm should be refrigerated immediately. Unused, tightly sealed portions can be stored for up to 2 weeks. Store cans or jars out of sunlight at room temperature. Once opened, use within 1 week.

Watch Video: How It's Made Hearts of Palm

When harvesting the cultivated young palm, the tree is cut down and the bark is removed leaving layers of white fibers around the center core. During processing the fibers are removed leaving the center core or heart of palm. The center core is attached to a slightly more fibrous cylindrical base with a larger diameter. The entire cylindrical center core and the attached base are edible. The center core is considered more of a delicacy because of its lower fiber content.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 6


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1\2 tsp. pepper
4 slices of lean cooked ham, cut into thin strips (deli-sliced ham works well)
1\2 c. fresh or frozen and thawed green peas
2 large carrots, coarsely grated or
cut into short, thin sticks
1 green apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 c. canned hearts of palm, drained and chopped into 1\2-inch pieces
1\ 2 c. regular or reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 medium potatoes
vegetable oil for frying


1) Wash chicken under cool running water and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

2) In a heavy saucepan or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt, and pepper and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is lightly browned and cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.

3) In a large bowl, combine the chicken, ham, peas, carrots, apple, and hearts of palm. Add mayonnaise and mix well.

4) Wash and peel potatoes. Grate or cut potatoes into long, thin strips. Pour about an inch of vegetable oil into a large frying pan or stockpot and heat to 350˚F, or until a drop of water flicked into the pan jumps out.

5) Carefully place potatoes in oil with a slotted spoon. (If they don’t all fit, you can fry them in two or three batches.) Fry 10 to 12 minutes, stirring gently.

6) When potatoes are golden brown, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

7) Just before serving, stir most of the potatoes into the salad and sprinkle a few on top.

Try other Brazilian healthy food recipes:

Quick Cooking Tips

After handling raw chicken or other poultry, always remember to thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, and preparation area with hot, soapy water. Also, when checking chicken for doneness, it’s a good idea to cut it open gently to make sure the meat is white (not pink) all the way through.

Cooking with hot oil is simple and safe as long as you’re careful and an adult is present. Be sure to use long-handled utensils whenever possible. Stand as far back from the stove as you can and place potatoes into oil slowly to avoid splattering.


Chicken, Meat Only, Roasted
chicken, chicken breast, meat

B- Grade
266 Calories

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup, chopped or diced (140 g)

Per Serving

% Daily Value
Calories 266

Calories from Fat 93

Total Fat 10.4g
Saturated Fat 2.9g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4g

Monounsaturated Fat 3.7g

Cholesterol 125mg
Sodium 120mg
Potassium 340mg
Carbohydrates 0.0g
Dietary Fiber 0.0g
Sugars 0.0g

Protein 40.5g

Vitamin A
Vitamin C

Potatoes, French Fried
Frozen, Home-prepared, Heated In Oven, Without Salt
french fries, potatoes

B+ Grade
67 Calories

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 10 strips (50 g)

Per Serving

% Daily Value
Calories 67

Calories from Fat 23

Total Fat 2.6g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.6g

Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 194mg
Potassium 226mg
Carbohydrates 13.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.4g
Sugars 0.1g

Protein 1.3g

Vitamin A
Vitamin C

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