Friday, September 17, 2010

Fruits to Nuts Chicken Salad

It is no secret that I heart making roast chicken. But ever since moving, Mark and I just can't run through a whole chicken like we used to. This is causing me no problems because I am starting to flex my chicken salad mussels. The art of making chicken salad is well documented all over the Internet, but I have my own feelings on the matter. First and foremost is the chicken. You can use leftovers or roast up some chicken breasts if you are having a hankering and you don't have excess chicken lying around. I like to combine something sweet (here I used craisins) and something crunchy (pecans) to add texture. A light dressing of mayo and sour cream works well to add sharpness and I always squeeze in some citrus (or vinegar/wine) to brighten up the dressing. You can make chicken salad with any number of things and I often do make other varieties, but this one is my favorite, so I think it is blog-worthy. Have a great weekend!
Fruits to Nuts Chicken Salad
1/2 cup chicken (shredded or coarsely chopped)
3 Tbs. Mayonnaise
2-3 Tbs. Sour Cream
1/2 lime
a few dashes of hot sauce
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 medium onion or 2-3 scallions
2 celery sticks
4-5 basil leaves
thick slice of bread (optional)

1. Shred or chop your chicken (I used a thigh, leg, and half a breast which was enough meat for two generous dinner portions of chicken salad) and place it in a large bowl.
2. Add craisins, chopped pecans, chopped onion and celery.
3. Make the dressing by combining mayo, sour cream with juice of half a lime and a few dashes of hot sauce. Whisk together well and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour dressing into salad bowl and combine well. You can also add some finely chopped herbs at this point. I had some basil so I used that and it was a great compliment.
5. Serve over lettuce leaves or on a sandwich.
I love it as a salad with gigantic croutons. I make them with stale bread and they are my favorite addition to any salad. I also sprinkled some queso fresco on top and I was in chicken salad heaven.

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