Chicken and Champagne for Melbourne Cup Day
Chicken and champagne just sound like the perfect accompaniment to Melbourne Cup day, don’t you think? Seeing as the races are all about fancy dresses and fascinators why can’t we have fancy chicken sandwiches and mimosas too?
While Victorians are lucky enough to have Melbourne Cup day as a public holiday, it doesn’t matter which state you come from because everywhere around the country people will be gathering together to host Melbourne Cup parrives.
So grab a bunch of friends and try these easy chicken and champagne tid bits. If you’re in Victoria head out to a local park for a picnic before the big race, or wherever you are make it a picnic in front of the telly by removing the couch and replacing it with cushions. Come on, let’s get into the spirit of it!
Chicken 3 ways for Melbourne Cup
Chicken, cucumber and mayo sandwiches
In the catering business they call them point sandwiches but for the rest of us, they’re just sandwiches cut into triangles. To make your own use some wholemeal bread and spread each slice with mayonnaise. Add some sliced or shredded chicken (which you cooked ahead earlier and cooled). Next add thin slices of cucumber (run the peeler down the length of the cucumber to get them really thin) and top with some salt and pepper. Add another slice of bread on top, chop off the crusts and cut into 4 triangles. Serve the sandwiches on a platter with the points up, just like you see at functions.
Just like you’d make a potato salad why not make a chicken salad with a mayo dressing? A Waldorf salad is a great one to try because it uses chicken, apple and walnuts to give a crisp and crunchy salad.
A chicken pasta salad is a great option. Make a creamy dressing using mayonnaise and mustard mixed with a bit of lemon juice and throw it over pasta and roasted or marinated vegetables.
Alternatively you could make a chicken ceasar salad too.
Chicken wings are a great finger food for a picnic too. Cook them in soy sauce and honey then sprinkle over sesame seeds for an easy side dish. Here’s a video with some other topping ideas too.
Champagne 3 ways for Melbourne cup
Mimosas are a great name for a really simple drink. Don’t you think it conjures exotic island beaches full of palm trees? To have the tropical feel at home just grab a champagne glass, half fill with your favourite champagne and top it up with your favourite orange juice.
Champagne and strawberries
This one is more about the look rather than taste. Grab a champagne glass and pop a washed strawberry in the bottom. Fill the glass with your favourite champagne and then wedge a slice of strawberry on the rim of the glass. It looks fancy already, right? And when you’re finished the strawberry will have taken on the champagne flavour so you can munch on that before you grab another glass.
Mix pineapple juice, orange juice and a couple of fresh strawberries in a blender. Transfer to a large jug and top with champagne. Serve it in champagne glasses or for something funky use martini glasses and wedge a slice of strawberry onto the rim before serving.
Tip: if you don’t drink alcohol then use a bottle of sparkling water, a flavoured sparkling mineral water, soda water or some lemonade in the recipes above and you’ll get the same effect. No one will know if you switch the champagne for something non-alcoholic, especially in the mimosa and cocktail.
So now there really isn’t any excuse why you can’t have a great Melbourne cup day, even I feel you’re not into champagne. I feel you’re not celebrating this year remember you can also use these ideas for any picnic you go on during spring or summer. If you’re new to Melbourne be sure to have your picnic at the Botanical Gardens at least once.
Enjoy the races and I’ll see you back here later in the week with more great ideas.