My Chicken Salad Recipe
Truth, I have never been a huge fan of “chicken salad” anything! There was always too much going on for me and my pallet. My other concern was that it was never a consistent recipe. Sometimes there is celery and other times not. You might get an onion and then again you might not. Mayo or not! Dijon mustard or not. It is madness. Doesn’t it almost feel like the chicken salad recipe is just whatever we have in the crisper with some mayo and chicken? I set out looking for some consistency and came up with my own “classic” Chicken Salad Recipe!
The Great Mayonnaise Debate
If you ask the average person does a chicken salad recipe have mayonnaise in it? You will find most will say yes…or even heck yes! I needed to rock that boat a little. The fact is a lot of chicken salad recipes call for a mixture of mayo and sugar. Not something I wanted to tangle with in my real food world. We have enough added sugar in our American diets without adding some to mayonnaise! I asked the question to a group of people just a few months ago… Do you think you can have a great chicken salad recipe with no mayo? The answer was, “I wish!” Well you only have to ask me once and I will find the solution. The trick is to find a combination of ingredients that packed a punch of flavor and was well balanced nutritionally. By George I think I have done it! 😉
Become a Chicken Poaching Boss
The days of canned chicken are officially over! Want chicken that is “melt in your mouth” tender, perfectly moist and taste like heaven in a bite. It is so crazy easy! Learn to poach your chicken. Sounds intimidating right? It’s not. Brace yourself for a lightbulb moment…right now!
- Use boneless skinless breast or thighs
- Place chicken in a pan
- Cover chicken in COLD water by 1 inch (tap water is fine)
- Bring to a rolling boil
- Turn off burner and cover
- Let stand for 15 minutes to cook chicken through (larger breast or thighs might take longer)
- DONE! Really that is it!
I love to poach chicken breast, store them in the refrigerator and use them cold for salads, reheat them in a casserole, throw them on the grill to reheat, or use the chicken in a stir-fry.
My Chicken Salad Recipe
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 organic granny smith apple, cored and chopped
2 tbs. olive oil
2 scallions, sliced thin
2 celery stalks, sliced
¼ cup cucumbers, bite size diced
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
15 fresh basil leaves
¼ cup shelled pistachios
¼ cup golden raisins or cranberries
1 head of organic romaine, chopped
Poached Chicken: Place chicken in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Place on stove and turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 15 minutes to cook through. Transfer chicken to cutting board to cool. Can be made up to one day ahead of time if refrigerated. Optional, add aromatics to poaching water like dried rosemary, garlic clove and a bay leaf.
In a large bowl add lemon juice and sliced scallions, whisk lightly. Add apple, oil, salt and pepper. Add scallions, celery, and cucumber. Toss. Cut cooled chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Tear the basil leaves and stir in along with the pistachios and raisins.