Reina Pepiada is a Venezuelan chicken salad traditionally served with arepas — apparently the name means ‘queen with beautiful curves,’ so that’s nice.
It’s a pretty typical chicken salad, I think, except that it includes mashed avocado, which gives a creamy lusciousness to it overall. It comes together quickly — poach the chicken in water for 20 minutes, let cool and shred it (you can do it with two forks or your hands, but I think it’s easiest in the food processor in a few short pulses — just don’t overdo). Combine with diced red onion, mayo, lime juice, avocado, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
I’m not sure if it’s okay to sit around for long, even chilled — I’d worry that the avocado would start browning, though perhaps the lime juice is enough to keep that from happening? I didn’t want to risk it, so I prepped through to the avocado and cilantro last night, and then finished it just before taking it over to the refugees. I thought it was pretty yummy — would make it again for a party. Though I’d add hot sauce next time! I tried it on white bread too, and it was tasty!
Seen here stuffed in a mini arepa, just the right size for a snack for me. We increased the recipe, so this was 4 lbs. of chicken thighs for $20. You can make it with breast if you prefer, of course; I just usually use thighs because they’re more flavorful and moist.