One of the ultimate side dishes to complement chicken dinner night is potato salad. This seemingly simple salad goes great with chicken as it offers a simple yet tasty pairing that will give our meal a crunchy texture. However, many tend to underestimate this dish, which results in poorly prepared salads that are far from being delicious. If you are making potato salad for dinner, make sure you avoid these common but easily preventable mistakes.
To begin with, we need to pay attention to the type of potato we choose for our salad, as this is something that will really make a difference since the beginning. There are three main categories of potatoes that depend on their texture, which are starchy, all-purpose, and waxy potatoes. In order to have the best results when making salads, go for waxy potatoes. They have the least amount of starch and will keep their shape while boiling better than any other type of potato.
Whenever we start cooking vegetables, including potatoes, it is very common to start with boiling our veggies. However, this is a very common mistake we tend to make, as boiling potatoes first can result in uneven cooking. We should instead start the potatoes in a pot of cold water, having them fully submerged. Then we can bring the water to boil, reducing the heat eventually until the potatoes cook in a simmer.
One of the key elements of a great potato salad is seasoning, especially when we will serve our salad cold. Whether we season the potatoes when they’re cold or when we are dressing the salad, this won’t give us the most delicious results. Instead, we should season the water when the potatoes are cooking. This way, the potatoes will absorb the flavor of the seasoning, and retain it for longer.
Another common problem many might face is overcooking or undercooking the potatoes we’ll use for our salad, which is a very noticeable mistake. When making potato salad, we must go for soft, tender, and creamy results. In order to do this, we should cook the potatoes between 8 and 12 minutes, using a fork to pierce them and wait until they feel tender. This cooking period will, of course, vary a bit, depending on the type of potato and the size of the cubes we cook.
Last but not least, one mistake we really don’t want to make when cooking potato salad is dressing the potatoes at the wrong time. We should always consider the type of dressing we will use first, like mayo-based dressing or vinaigrette, as it will determine when to dress the salad. For example, if we are going to use a vinaigrette, we should dress the potatoes while they’re warm, and if we are using mayo-based dressing, we have to wait a bit until they’re cold. This will help us achieve the right texture depending on the dressing, which will also give us a delicious potato salad overall.