Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Nuts

Making chicken salad is one of my favorite ways to use up grilled chicken from dinner the night before. Perhaps I'm just partial to my own, but I'm never happy with the chicken salad that I get at restaurants or in the store. The chicken is either minced so small that it resembles tuna salad, or cut so thick that it's hard to eat. The trick to making a good textured chicken salad is taking the time to shred the meat. I find it's easiest to do this by hand. I start by cutting along the grain of the meat so that I get nice long strands of chicken. Then use your fingers to tear the chicken into smaller pieces. If you don't have extra grilled chicken, this salad tastes wonderful when made with the small roaster chickens you can buy in the deli section of your grocery store. If you can find them I love the BBQ basted roasters, because it adds that smokey taste - just like the grilled chicken does!

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Nuts
Servings: 4 one-cup Servings
(This recipe can easily be doubled or cut in half)

  • 4 Chicken breasts (or about 12 oz), shredded
  • 1 cup organic red seedless grapes, washed and cut in half
  • 1 cup lightly toasted nuts. My favorite nuts to add to this salad are pine nuts, but today I added walnuts. (Has anyone else noticed the recently inflated price of pine nuts?... holy cow!)
  • 3 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 6 TBSP Olive Oil Mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sometimes I'll add 1/2 tsp of minced garlic for extra flavor (optional)
  • Mix chicken with the dijon, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and garlic (if using), until well mixed. Stir in the grapes and toasted nuts. Can be eaten right away, but I like when the chicken salad sits for an hour (or even overnight) in the refrigerator before eating.

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