There are a few recipes in my household that we make every two weeks or so. They are staples in our meal plans and they last us at least a few days. One of those staples is chicken salad. By itself, in a sandwich, on a salad… we love chicken salad. Last year I got into the habit of making chicken salad whenever a snowstorm rolled through, so now I associate chicken salad with snowflakes and the beautiful soft white light that comes with a snowday.So naturally, in this scorching 85 degree September weather, I couldn’t help but long for a snowday as I walked past the rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. So friends, may I present to you my beloved chicken salad recipe.
First things first, you want to shred your chicken. I chose a rotisserie chicken because they are already seasoned and cooked to perfection, cutting out some of the hard work on your end. Shredding it with my own hands is always fun, and it tends to go a lot faster than using forks. I choose to remove the skin, just because skin isn’t always appetizing after the chicken salad is chilled, but who knows, maybe you prefer to keep the skin in yours. Just make sure your chicken isn’t too large. We are looking for bite sized pieces here. After that, you need to dice two stalks of celery and one apple. I chose a Gala apple, because I love a good crispy pink apple. Not too sour, not too sweet. You just choose whatever makes you happy. Avoid the leafy parts of the top of the celery, and the core and seeds of the apple. Add the dried cranberries and to the bowl with your apple, chicken, and celery.
Halfway there! Time for the dressing. I like to use Duke’s mayonnaise, a long standing favorite in my family. My father is very particular about what brand of mayo we have because he loves a fresh turkey sandwich at Thanksgiving with white bread and Duke’s. I guess the preference became tradition, and now I never use anything else. Mix the Duke’s with about a half cup of red wine vinegar, some salt, fresh cracked pepper, white sugar, and garlic salt. Mix well. Don’t be discouraged if your concoction looks like the one below, just keep mixing! It will eventually all smooth out.
Now, it’s not an exact science when it comes to how this dressing tastes. I have given measurements, but it is always a good idea to taste your food as you go. You want a nice even balance between sweet, salty, and tangy in this mix, so add a little of this and a little of that until you get something that you would be happy to smother your chicken with. Once it tastes how you want it to taste, pour over your chicken, apple, celery, and cranberry mix. Stir well!
You can serve at room temp or chilled. I chose to eat mine right away on some toasted potato bread. I am a sucker for a good piece of potato bread. Croissants go well with it too! Have fun with it, and enjoy!
Sweet and Savory Chicken Salad
A chicken salad with all the flavor and crunch you have been craving.
- 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded without the skin
- 1 gala apple, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2/3 cup of dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups of Duke’s Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp of white sugar
- 2 tsp of garlic salt
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- After shredding chicken and dicing apple and celery, combine chicken, apple, celery, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Taste, and adjust to personal preference of taste.
- Add dressing mixture to the chicken mixture and combine until all ingredients are thoroughly covered with dressing.
- Serve immediately or chill in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy in a sandwich, on a salad, in a wrap, or by itself.
As always, please share your creation with us on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #MyDinnerDesigner and show the world how talented you are! Tune in next Wednesday for another recipe.