You may have noticed over the years that I love chicken. I could eat chicken every day of the week and am always looking at either new recipes or how to perfect old ones. This is the latter. I used to make a very basic chicken salad with grapes, green onions, mayo, salt and pepper and although it wasn’t bad it wasn’t the kind that was over the top in flavor. This recipe is, and I am so excited to share it.
It is not unusual for me to have leftover chicken in the house but this time I made it as the main event and not as a way to use leftovers. But either way, these combination of ingredients makes a chicken salad that you’ll make again and again.
So let’s talk homemade chicken salad…
Lesson Learned 1 – Use this recipe as a base for what the amount of chicken you have: The recipe I am providing produces enough chicken salad to feed 8 people but can be adjusted for use with lesser amounts of leftover chicken. Just reduce the ingredients according to the percentage of chicken you may have on hand. To make the entire recipe I recommend using a 3 – 4 pound rotisserie chicken, cut up. When I made it initially I had about 2 pounds of cooked chicken pieces, so I reduced the ingredients slightly (remember this is not baking and so it’s ok to fiddle with the amounts) and it came out perfectly. You may have to step out of your comfort zone a little if you decide to adjust the ingredients, but frankly I can’t see that you’ll hurt the chicken salad doing whatever you choose as long as you are somewhat mindful of the overall portions in relation to the full recipe.
Lesson Learned 2 – No matter how much you want to eat it immediately, let the chicken salad sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour and, if you can, overnight: Once the chicken salad is made it looks so good you’ll want to eat it on the spot. I remember I tasted it right away and wasn’t all that enamored with it. But I know from experience that recipes like this require the ingredients to get acquainted in order to fully develop their flavors and so I let it sit overnight. The next day I couldn’t believe the difference in the taste. I was mostly struck by the flavor of the dill which I could hardly taste when I first made it but could really taste after the chicken salad rested overnight.
It wasn’t only the dill flavor that was different – the combination of flavors fully developed and complimented one another to the point that I felt I could eat the whole bowl right on the spot. So please, when you make this, give the ingredients a chance to fully develop. You won’t be sorry you did!
Lesson Learned 3 – You can also add slivered almonds to this recipe: Many recipes I researched included thinly sliced almonds as one of the ingredients. You can certainly add them to this recipe. I did not use them because my husband has a hard time with them – but I wanted to let you know that they are certainly an option for you.
Not a lot of lessons learned on this one as you basically combine all the ingredients and let them sit for a period of time. But this is a great recipe and I’m sure if you try it it’ll be your go-to chicken salad recipe…
Homemade Chicken Salad...
3 – 4 lb. rotisserie chicken, cut into bite size pieces
3/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved
2 celery ribs, diced
3-4 scallions, chopped (including the green parts)
2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine the chicken, grapes, celery, scallions, dill and parsley. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Add the mayo mixture to the chicken mixture and carefully stir until mixed. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for minimally an hour and preferably over night. Great for sandwiches and salads.