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Liven up Chicken Salad

So assuming that we're gonna do a basic chicken-mayo-onion-celery base, what do you add to make it better, spicier, more interesting? I like tarragon, thyme, chiles, mustard, chopped pickles and/or hot sauce - I've even added curry powder or tumeric. But roasting a chicken a week, I am looking for other ideas.

Any help - soon?

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  1. My go to is: lots of madras curry powder, currants, toasted walnuts, diced celery, diced onion, salt and pepper, enough mayo to moisten and bind it all together and a squeeze of lemon juice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cheesemonger

      My friend makes hers like this only with slivered almonds and chutney and serves it in endive leaves. Decadent!

      1. re: cheesemonger

        This is a lot like of of my favorite chicken/turkey salad recipes.
        Add a couple of tablespoons of chutney and use cashews instead of walnuts.
        (If there are giant hunks of stuff in the chutney, chop those up)

        1. re: cheesemonger

          I had a chicken salad once in the US Virgin Islands that had what I initially thought was an overpowering amount of curry powder, but it grew on me very quickly! This is my go-to now: really put much more curry powder than you think is prudent and somehow it comes out wonderful

          1. re: DrMag

            Yes- it's an obscene amount of curry powder, but I love it. Have heard about adding chutney, which I will do next time.

        2. Smitten Kitchen has a quick pickled celery that she used in egg salad. I think it would be good with chicken too. In fact, that will be lunch today.

          1. I frequently pick the meat from rotisserie chickens and then make small batches of different styles of salad over the next few days. A few, all with Dukes mayo & S&P:

            1) protestant - grape halves and walnuts or pecans

            2) Mexican- chipotle and pineapple pieces

            3) Mediteranean- green olives and sun dried tomatoes

            4) Asian- combination of sweet and hot curry

            5) Spanish- egg salad and mashed anchovies (no salt)

            All are good in sandwiches or dolloped on starburst tomatoes with a little balsamic vinegar and croutons.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Veggo

              Typically I do a #1.

              Mayo and or plain yogurt, apple, raisins, celery, salt and pepper, grapes if I have them.

              No onion but wouldn't balk at scallion. It is very much a use up stuff kind meal for me.

            2. MGZ, I've had a version with shredded carrot, minced celery, curry powder and raisins that was good.

              But---truth be told--I'm sold on your chicken/mayo/onion/celery combo. A little S&P, and I'm a happy hound.

              1. There is a chicken salad at a local winebar that I just love. It has pecans, apples, gorgonzola, mayo base but it is served over a bed of greens with a housemade raspberry vinaigrette that just makes the salad delectable.

                I like the nut/fruit addition to chicken salads...the possibilities are endless. Just think of any regional/ethnic cuisine and build a salad around it.

                That said, my mom's plain ol' chicken salad will always be the best!!