Saturday, November 14, 2009

My favorite chicken salad

I have a confession to make.

I LOVE chicken salad.

I honestly think I could eat a good chicken salad 5 days a week (gotta get some red meat in there somewhere during the week).

But the problem I run into is it's hard to find a really good chicken salad out there.

The stuff you get at the grocery store is just....well.....YUK! I really don't like teeny-tiny, shredded up pieces of chicken, with some other "things" mixed in with it. (Mind you, we only have Wal-Mart and Winn Dixie....I've heard Publix chicken salad is da' bomb!)

Chick-Fil-a has chicken salad. It's pretty good. As a matter of fact, when I was pregnant with the triplets, that was one of my food cravings.

That and Krispy Kreme cream-filled doughnuts.

But it's just not "THE" chicken salad...and it has pickle relish in it....I loathe pickle relish.

It needs to be banned from the planet!

Well, maybe not the planet, but at least be banned in good chicken salad.

So the search continued.

After tasting many, many chicken salads that were just "OK", but always containing things that I just didn't like, I decided to come up with my OWN chicken salad recipe.

My family loves it, even my super-picky 7 y.o., and usually end up making a double batch to share with my mom, too.

Yesterday seemed like a good day to make chicken salad, considering I couldn't use the oven after the cake fiasco. So, I thought I would share my recipe with all of you.

Very simple, very filling, and very tasty!

Robin's favorite chicken salad

-Roasted Chicken
Since I couldn't use the oven , I used a pre-roasted chicken from Wal-Mart. If you want to roast it yourself, just take whatever cuts of meat you like (all white meat, all dark meat, or a doesn't matter at all....but white meat only usually makes for a better tasting chicken salad, in my opinion) just rub on some olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like, and roast until done. Leave the skin on while roasting to give it better flavor.
(I used one long stalk)
(I used a half of a medium-sized onion)
(I used one granny smith and one McIntosh)

OK, I know you recipe purists out there hate me, but I don't have a clue about amounts or measurements. It's so flexible....if you want more chicken, add more chicken, if you want more nuts, use more nuts....If you hate onions, leave them's that simple.

Personally, I like the taste of onions and celery, but I don't like to actually bite into a big piece. So, most of the time when I would eat chicken salad, I would end up with a little pile of onions and celery left on the side of the plate. Then Rachel Ray showed a little tip to fix that problem....

Grate the onion and celery into the salad. That way, you get all of the flavor, but without the big hunk of raw vegetable.

Make sure you get all of the goodness off the back of the grater.

Now you are left with onion and celery liquid and puree. It smells SO good!
If you like that "bite" of the raw vegetables, then by all means, just chop them up and put them in.

Next, I cut the apples into bite-sized hunks. I prefer the firmness of Granny Smith and McIntosh apples, but use whatever you have.

Cut grapes in half and add them to the mix.

Now comes the messy part. Remove the skin, skin, and legs from your chicken. If you don't eat skin, throw it away, but we love it, so I saved it for later.

Now you are left with this gorgeous chicken breast. Well, maybe not "gorgeous", but you get my meaning.

Cut chicken up into bite-sized pieces and add to the mix. You could shred it, or cut it into tiny pieces, but I like big hunks of meat in my chicken salad. I wannna know what I am eating!

Pour in pecans. This was a 4 cup bag, and I added about half of the bag. But I am trying to make enough for two families to eat. If you don't like nuts, leave them out....but the pecans just add that extra "something" to me.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Isn't it pretty?

Now this is where I have to stop. Hubby HATES mayonnaise.

I know, how in the world did I fall in love with a man that HATES mayonnaise?

But I did, so I have to stop the adding ingredients process here. I cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator at this point.

As I get my plate of yummy goodness out to eat, I spoon the mixture into a bowl and add mayonnaise to my taste.

Yummy, yummy mayonnaise.

If you do eat mayonnaise, please, by all means add it now, and then cover and store in the refrigerator. It tastes better the longer it sits.....

Which is never very long in this household.

I like to serve it with fresh bakery croissants.

Bury me now because I've died and gone to HEAVEN!

I hope you enjoy!


  1. Oh Robin, your chicken salad looks DELICIOUS!!!!!! :D

  2. I love chicken salad and make mine with Costco baked chicken. Basic same recipe, minus nuts. It's soooo good. I need a lot of protein and this is a tasty choice for me.

    The skin is my dog's treat. She's such a good girl and she knows, when a chicken shows up, that is the only time she is allowed to beg by my prep island.

    OK, just because I like you so much I am going to try the 8 letter word verification. The words are getting longer as my brain is getting smaller :)

  3. OK Marla, just for you, I removed the word verification. Let's see how long it takes the spambots to find me this!

  4. Oh I love chicken salad and this sounds sooooooo good. I will give it a try. Hugs, Marty

  5. This is the exact recipe I use, minus the onion. I like onion, have just never added it. I'm going to try the grating method, brilliant! I just finished reading about your cake fiasco. How are you ever going to get that oven clean? Which reminds me, I need to do that before Thanksgiving lol. Have a great weekend. Kathy

  6. Robin, we love chicken salad too, but my recipe is different! We use chicken, of course, golden delicious apples, celery, hard boiled eggs, mayo, of course, and lots of garlic powder, salt and pepper, it is the bomb, I have lots of requests for it all the time! I just love the apple, yumo! And Kathy thanks for the cleaning your stove reminder for our Wagner Family Saturday after Thanksgiving-Thanksgiving celebration, here at our house!

  7. [drooling] and already making my grocery list for this one! i usually prefer tuna salad.. but this one has my taste buds salivating! not your ordinary boring chicken salad.. :D thanks for the recipe!

  8. My daughter makes chicken salad and while she doesn't add nuts (because she absolutely, positively LOATHES nuts!) she does add pineapple chunks. I do not usually like sweet and savory mixed, but it is pretty good. I'll have to pass your recipe on to her.
    As for your hubby not liking mayonnaise....well, that's just not natural! ;)

  9. You use all the things I do, but I add shallots along with the regular onion. I dice up the onion and celery because I like the crunch in the bite. I use either Honey or Fuji apples just because I love them. Best Foods Mayo is a must.

    My husband likes to have regular mustard spread on his bread with the chicken salad. I don't.
    I love it served on thick slices of whole wheat homemade bread.

    You have given me a craving here. Maybe tomorrow night is soup and sandwich night.


  10. Yum!! That looks just like Arby's Chicken salad...which I had for diner just last night, ha! Have you tried it from there? The boys were telling me I was gross for eating, pecans, chicken, mayo, apples & grapes, lol! SO good!

  11. ooooo I had to come out of lurkdom because I LOVE chicken salad!! And just like you not any ole ckn salad! If you ever get to Vegas go to Grand Lux in the Venetian, their's is TDF. Cheesecake Factory has a close second. I'll have to try grating the onion and celery next time (probably tomorrow lol now that you've made me hungry for it). I use just granny smith apples and usually put a tablespoon or so of spicy brown mustard.

    Love your blog!


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