1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 small bay leaves
6 whole peppercorns
2/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Place chicken breasts smooth side down on a cutting board, cut tenders from breast halves and save for another use. Place a sheet of wax paper over chicken pieces and pound to an even thickness.
Bring 8 cups water, bay leaves and peppercorns to a simmer in a pan. Add chicken and cook for 12 minutes keeping temperature moderate. Remove chicken when thermometer inserted registers 160° or until done. Refrigerate until cold.
Cut chicken into cubes, stir together with mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and then with one of the flavor combinations below—
Curried Chicken Salad—Stir in 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Waldorf Salad—Stir in 1 Gala apple, cored and cubed, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Classic Chicken Salad—Add 2 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped, 3 tablespoons chopped dill and 2 tablespoons mustard.