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help please, making really good chicken salad

[This thread was moved from the General Topics board. --The Chowhound Team]

Hi y'all...I had a craving today for chicken salad and bought one of those prepared/deli chickens from the grocery store. But, I can't seem to find a recipe using the ingredients I have on hand and I'd love to make some that's REALLY good for the rye bread I also bought (just for the chicken salad, lol). The ingredients I have are: mayo., whipping cream, onion, celery, green grapes, a LITTLE lemon, almond and walnuts. I've got a small assortment of herbs.
I'm so wanting to try some with the whipping cream, tho all I have is a blender...would that work or would a whisk work (say that 5 times, LOL)?
Would you use almonds or walnuts and should either be toasted first?
I have dill and sweet pickle relish but would rather not use it if possible.
Do I need chopped eggs?
Would you use cheese on a chicken salad sandwich? I have sliced swiss and Velveeta slices
I.e., I guess I'm asking for your favorite recipes for delicious chicken salad. I'd so appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!

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  1. I love almonds in my chicken salad. Definitely toast them first. The best chicken salad, IMHO, is made with a few really good ingredients to let the flavors shine through. Chicken, celery, mayo, toasted almonds, salt and pepper is really good. If you want to put a little lemon zest in to brighten the flavor, that would be good, too. A few grape halves are nice, but I tend to like red grapes better than green in this case. Chopped eggs will be overkill here. And don't add the pickle relish...save that for tuna. :)

    You can whisk a little whipping cream into the mayo for the dressing. It will be quite rich, so definitely add some lemon zest. You don't need proprotions for this...put all in a bowl, mix, taste, adjust. It's going to be great!

    1. I don't follow a recipe. But I usually thin the mayo w/a little milk. Love lightly toasted walnuts in it, especially. You can toast them in a frying pan, tossing. Also like adding paprika. Cheese on it? un-unh.

      1. Thank you both SO MUCH, wyf4lyf and TonySop! Wy, you sound like an amazing cook, I'm not kidding. You also sound like you know me, because I do tend to add too much of this and that, resulting in losing the flavor of the main ingredient I want to taste. I so much appreciate you both helping me out. Y'all made it much more simple for me than I originally anticipated and I'm going to do what you both suggested. My only regret is the cheese, lol. But, I WAS afraid that whichever I decided upon might also interfere with the flavor of the chicken. I really can't thank you both enough for your time and consideration in helping me! TonySop, I would never have thought of toasting the nuts in a frying pan, either. Again, thank y'all so much.

        1 Reply
        1. re: heyjude

          if you're new to nut toasting, it's very easy to do, and very tasty. but be forewarned that it does take some vigilance. nuts can burn fast. i now turn on a kitchen timer for two minutes, stick them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees, or heat them up on the stovetop. i find that without the timer on, i can't keep track of the time. enjoy!

        2. personally i prefer dark to white meat (more moist). try to use as many celery leaves as opposed to ribs as possible, grated onion, some finely diced fresh apple and a liberal touch of your favorite curry paste.toasted almonds and grapes yes, cheese totally out of the question.

          1. Byrd, thanks a lot! So, use the celery leaves? I wouldn't have thought of that. I assume you mean to chop them finely (?). Doggone it, I don't have ANY curry in this house and I sure meant to get some. Well, it's obvious I'm just going to much on cheese instead of putting it on the sandwich! I appreciate your input.
            Sorry to keep posting 'thank you's' but I HAVE to, and I know there's no way to send a p.m. to those that have taken their time to help me. Sorry for the repititious off-topic replies.