Chicken Salad is one of those things I wish I could make really complicated because it’s crazy that something so easy can be this good. The trick is to start off with a beautifully roasted bird and keep it simple. Use this basic recipe and then play with different variations if you’re in the mood. Take your time with the bird roasting it, smoking it, or grilling it. Typically, when I get around to making chicken salad, it’s the day after we’ve had roasted chicken for dinner. It’s a fabulous use for leftovers. I usually roast two chickens just to have enough for chicken salad. If you’re short on time, forget roasting it yourself and grab one already done. I can’t hardly walk past the rotisserie at Sam’s or Costco without ending up with a couple in my cart.
If you want to add sliced grapes and toasted pecans, go for it. I love this combo in the summer. The grapes add a lovely pop of juicy sweetness and the nutty flavor of the pecans is delicious. Another favorite is to switch out the commercial mayo for a homemade garlic aioli (a-o-lee). Shhh… it’s just a fancy term for mayonnaise. Yeah, break that word out to friends and loved ones.
“Hey, honey, I made your chicken salad sandwich with… aioli.” wink… wink. They’ll be so impressed. Or they’ll just think you’re weird.
Have fun and enjoy!
Next week’s post: Homemade Mayonnaise (Aioli)
Savory Roast Chicken Salad
- 4 cups cooked chicken chopped
- 2/3 cups mayonnaise
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 small onion diced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine everything in a mixing bowl.
- Stir gently until combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Substitute a homemade mayonnaise for store bought mayo
- Add a bit of summer by adding 1/2 cup of chopped green grapes and 1/2 toasted pecans
- 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1/2 cup of dried currants or raisins, & 1/2 cup of pistachios