It’s chicken salad season! . . . well, not officially, but summer is the time for craving something cold and light with protein for satisfying on-the-go appetites. This Chicken Salad recipe is basic, but not bland, with lots of optional ingredients to suit your taste. It’s like that cute black dress you can dress up or down. By mixing and combining fruits, nuts, herbs, and cheese the basic becomes Chicken Salad Your Way!
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Chicken Salad Starts With One Thing
I give many thanks to Ina Garten for teaching me how to roast bone-in chicken breasts. This process makes easy preparation when needing cooked chicken. No more boiling water in a large pot on the stove. All you do is put the breasts on a baking sheet, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake skin side up at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
I go a few steps further lining the pan with parchment paper and salting before and after rubbing on the olive oil. Right after it’s cooked I place foil over it and let it cool. This keeps the meat nice and juicy.
Dressing And Add-Ins
After the chicken breasts are cooked, cooled, and deboned it’s time to chop the celery and combine the two. Next, make the dressing with mayonnaise, cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, onion, relish, and seasonings.
Then pour it over the meat and celery, stir together and enjoy this yummy, creamy salad that’s full of flavor just like it is.
Or, add your favorite ingredients making it
I’ve listed some delicious combinations in the recipe below, but the sky’s the limit on this one.Print
Basic Chicken Salad Ingredients
4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
3/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest from half of a lemon
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Optional Ingredients To ADD-IN
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 – 1 1/2 cups fruit, any single or combination of sliced grapes, mandarin orange segments, blueberries, pineapple chunks, diced apple, avocado, and/or dried cranberries
Combine chicken and celery in a large bowl.
Combine the next 8 ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well to make the dressing.
Toss the chicken and celery with the dressing.
Add the combination of optional ingredients to suit your taste or leave as is then refrigerate.
Serve cold by itself or on bread as a sandwich.
Pecans, pepper jack cheese, and grapes
Mandarin oranges and blueberries
Pepper Jack cheese, avocado, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro
Apples, dried cranberries, and nuts
Process the basic recipe in the food processor for a spreadable chicken salad.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chicken salad your way
Here is another perfect dish for summer cravings, Chicken Salad With Green Peas. This savory salad has greek yogurt, pecans, black olives, feta cheese and of course, green peas. It’s so good and chicken salad stores well in the refrigerator for days.
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Worry about tomorrow steals the joy from today.