This salad is the Russian version of potato salad and actually is a variation on the super-popular Olivier salad. It is something that gets made for special occasions, served with abundantly flowing vodka and hearty bread, like a German Rye. It is quick and simple to prepare, and is absolutely delicious. It is also great when you have a lot of disparate ingredients on hand you want to get rid of. The beauty of this recipe is that quantities are fairly flexible, and you can vary them to fit your preference.
What you will need:
1/4 of a large yellow onion, or 1/2 of a small one
1/2 of a regular or 1/3 of an English cucumber, seeds removed
2 small pickles, or one large one
5 cooked chicken tenders
3 hard-boiled eggs
2 medium-large boiled potatoes (I like Yukon Golds)
mayonnaise to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Put the potatoes and eggs on to boil. Important: do not peel the potatoes before boiling. Boiling them in skin will keep you salad from becoming watery. I usually boil potatoes and eggs in the same pot to save real estate, but it’s fine to do it separately. Using a medium-sized pot, start timing eggs when the water starts to boil, and pull them out after 10 minutes. To stop the eggs cooking, put them in cold water. Time the potatoes for another 10 minutes after that, then start to check for done-ness. You want potatoes that are cooked through, but hold their shape, similar to potato salad.
Chop the onions small. If you want a milder flavor to your salad, pour boiling water over the onions once they chopped. Blot dry.
Peel, and chop the cucumber. Make sure to discard the ends as they are bitter. Make sure you dry the cucumber well and discard the seeds.
Dry and chop the pickles.
Chop the chicken into cubes making sure to remove any tendons. I like to boil these with Knorr chicken stock cubes and a couple of bay leaves to give them some flavor; bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Peel and chop the eggs.
Peel and chop the potatoes.
Combine all ingredients in an large non-reactive bowl (I use stainless steel); add a couple of dashes of salt and pepper, and the mayo. I usually start with two heaping tablespoons, and add as needed. You want the salad to have moisture, but not be swimming in mayo. There should be a good coverage on all the ingredients when the mayo is folded in. Check for seasoning.