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I conquered chicken salad

I have two guiding principles with chicken salad, use mostly dark meat and make the dressing separately and then add instead of mixing in ingredient by ingredient.
I add some toasted nuts for the last mix in, use some leafy tops of the celery and cut the chicken into really small pieces. Please share some of your own laws of chicken salad.

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  1. Well, since you asked...

    I start with a smoked chicken from one of two local bbq joints. I use an equal mix of white and dark, (in fact, I usually use a half a chicken, which is how these two places prepare them).

    I add

    celery
    green onion
    cilantro
    jalapeno
    green apple

    Sometimes I add a few pepitas, (shelled and roasted pumpkin seeds)

    (All "green" ingredients so I call it my Smoked Green Chicken Salad. )

    Then I add mayo and dijon mustard.

    I don't bake, so I don't do measurements; Sorry. But use the "right" amount and it will always be just right. :-)

    4 Replies
    1. re: DoobieWah

      I love chicken salad, and agree about the dark meat, but use breast if that's what I have. I always use mayo and curry powder. I kind of make it with whatever happens to be around.

      My favorite add-ins are:
      green grapes / mandarin oranges / celery / toasted slivered almonds / a splash of orange juice

      I also make it with:
      onions / hard boiled eggs / celery

      Sometimes I have it on bread, and sometimes just out of a bowl. Doobie's idea of adding apple sounds good. I'm gonna have to try that next time I make it.

      1. re: Essbee

        The green apple is an adaptation from my mother's tuna salad recipe. It provides sweetness, crunch and juiciness. It really is perfect in this.

        Thanks Mom!

      2. re: DoobieWah

        That sounds so, so, so good. Especially with the pepitas. You have officially blown my mind. (I didn't grow up with chicken salad - it's still exotic to me.)

        1. re: Vetter

          Well, I was making chicken salad for only the third or fourth time and still working on my recipe, (I didn't grow up with it either!) and I was thinking that I remembered seeing pecans and walnuts in chicken salad, but didn't have either. However, I had recently made the pepitas which are a great snack, so in they went.

          It worked.

          Hope you enjoy.

      3. I always use HOT chicken pieces (white and dark) on the top of COLD mixed salad leaves and drizzle with a dressing containing harissa paste. I love the slight spiciness and the contrast in temperatures. Other elements vary but often include cucumber, sliced radishes and roasted peppers. Oh, and pine nuts.

        1. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts and add in some frozen peas, celery, green onion, diced water chestnuts and mayo. S&P to taste. I like the crunch from the celery and water chestnuts.

          1. I love the traditional one with a hint of curry and some red grapes and toasted pecans but also have one I make with grilled chicken, pesto, a little very tart mayo,a few whole pine nuts, and sun dried tomatoes. mmmm

            these do not, of course, count as laws of chicken salad, but I have adopted the law that anything that merits mayo deserves home made mayo. and of course there is the law that nuts are always better toasted. I agree wholehearteldly on using some of the celery leaves.

            1. I prefer white meat--the mayonnaise seems to make the dark meat too oily for my taste. Other than that, any add-ins or condiments are OK.

              When I hear "chicken salad" I think "sandwich" -- not by itself on a plate -- ? Agree?

              2 Replies
              1. re: blue room

                It can be either. Sometimes I put it on a croissant, sometimes I put it in a lettuce cup as a salad to go with a meat dish. Just depends. It's a good side dish by itself to go with BBQ's.

                1. re: blue room

                  for me chicken salad is a plate with lettuce, sliced chicken, some other veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, corn and maybe some fruit like pineapple or cranberries and maybe some pecan nuts.. and u serve the dressing on the side..

                  but if you say a sandwich with chicken salad i think of the mayo based style salad.