Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 2, 2012 02:50 PM

Grilled chicken salad - serve warm or chilled?

I am hosting a salad buffet party tonight with a variety of grilled meats, toppings and dressings. The chicken breast has been marinating and can be cooked whenever. For some reason, I planned to cook it right before the party but then it occurred to me that that would result in salads with fairly warm/hot chicken which wouldn't necessarily provide the cool, refreshing effect that many people enjoy about salads. If it were you and had the extra time would you cook the chicken ahead of time and chill and then let the chill come off for a bit beforehand?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd let it cool down to warm. In restaurants, I often will get a salad with a piece of grilled salmon top. When the salmon is as cold as the rest of the salad ingredients, I don't enjoy it as much. But a little bit warm, it enhances the dressing, slightly wilts the greens (in a good way), and adds to the temperature/texture experience. I don't think I'd serve the chicken hot, though. The greens might wilt too much.

    1. When I make a Chicken Caesar Salad I make sure the chicken and croutons are warm. Makes for a more interesting salad.

      1. I also like it a bit warm.

        1. Warm, but not straight off the grill. Cook it when you won't be rushed doing other preparations for the party

          2 Replies
          1. re: cheesecake17

            Is it ok to hold it at room temp or should I chill and take out it in time to get the chill off?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Just saw this, and your party is prob over. But I would keep it on a platter covered if its only a short time

          2. Thanks for all of the helpful advice. I cooked it 3 or so hours in advance, chilled in the fridge and let warm up a bit an hour before the party. It was a perfect temperature and combined well with other chilled toppings like lettuce, eggs, and cheese.