I am a big fan of chicken salad. Served on a croissant, it is one of my favorite lunches ever. And to be honest, I don't understand why anyone would eat it any other way. I also don't bother eating it if it doesn't have fruit and toasted nuts in it. I just love the crunch and the sweetness. I realize there are some crazy people out there who don't like fruit in their chicken salad, but that is just crazy talk to me!
Though I make chicken salad quite often, I have never thought to blog it. I don't use a recipe really, just more of a method:
- Cut the mayo by at least half with Greek yogurt
- Add lots of extra dijon
- Use some sort of fresh herb (parsley, chives, basil, thyme...)
- Something for sharpness (onion, scallion, shallot...)
- Have at least 1 fruit. I prefer apples and grapes, but have used both peaches and pineapple in a moment of desperation.
- Dried raisins or cranberries
- toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts....)
- And my "secret" ingredient is a big squirt of honey. It gives the whole salad a little sweetness vs just getting it when you bite into the fruit.
I didn't make my own mayo. Since I always use at least half Greek yogurt, I didn't really feel like going through the trouble. I would like to make my own at some point though, in hopes that it will make me actually like mayonnaise instead of abhorring it. I also didn't have celery or red onion on hand, so I just omitted the celery, and I used shallot instead of the onion. And finally, I didn't have any parsley, so I added a combination of chives, fresh oregano, and basil.
Even though I pretty much butchered the recipe, I still loved this chicken salad. I loved the sweetness from the apples, the crunch from the toasted almonds, and the hit of fresh herbs. Once I made all of my adjustments, it really was my perfect chicken salad.
Head over to Confections of a Foodie Bride for the full (and correct) recipe, and check back next week for my choice!