1 whole chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
About 1/2 cup chopped scallions
About 2 teaspoons snipped, fresh dillweed
Equal amounts sour cream and mayonnaise (start with 1/2 cup each), more to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 whole, cooked artichokes (may be cooked and chilled up to 48 hours in advance)
Vinaigrette, for dipping (either homemade or a good-quality commercially made product)
To prepare salad, poach the chicken. Put a whole, uncooked bird into a pot filled halfway with water. Throw in some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pot and let rest until cool enough to handle. May be poached and refrigerated for up to 48 hours in advance.
Pull enough white and dark meat from bird to measure about 31/2 to 4 cups; cut meat into bite-sized chunks. Season chicken lightly with a little salt and pepper. Add the scallions and fresh dill. Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard. Fold most of mayonnaise mixture into chicken, adding just enough to barely hold mixture together. You don't want to drown out pure flavor of chicken or dill. Refrigerate salad mixture if not using within an hour.
To serve, gently separate leaves of each artichoke to reveal inner heart portion. With a spoon, scrape out inedible "choke" portion, which creates a handy bowl in which to spoon chicken salad. Pile salad nice and high.
Serve individual saucers of vinaigrette so diners can pluck leaves from their artichokes and dip them into it as they enjoy chicken salad.
Makes 4 servings.