This healthy Chicken Salad is a quick way to use up leftover chicken and create a substantial salad. It makes a very refreshing light meal with a base of greens. You can get creative with it too!
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I love to have some chicken breast meat on hand. I often poach a few breasts and stick them in my freezer so I can pull them out and dress them up on short notice. Baking and BBQing tends to dry the chicken out so I sometimes cut the raw breasts into roughly 1 ½ " chunks. If you bring a big pot of water to a boil you can dump in the chicken cubes and they are cooked in 4-5 minutes.
You can get fancy and add a teaspoon each of salt, sugar and soya sauce to the water. That adds a little layer of umami but it can sometimes interfere with your finished dish. For this light and refreshing salad I just poached the breasts in water - period.
This is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken as well.
When I make this I would further dice the cooked chicken chunks. I aim to have all the chopped ingredients roughly the same size. If the ingredients are all different sizes it can be 'clunky' to eat!
I have listed a number of optional ingredients that you choose to include if you are inclined. I wouldn't suggest adding all of them - the salad would get too busy. The Granny Smith apples are a nice addition. That really makes it a substantial lunch salad. If you decide to add apple then you might want to sub the almonds for walnuts and you would have a bit of a Waldorf thing going on.
This might be my way of trying to hurry spring along but I can assure you this salad is great year round!
- 2 cups leftover white chicken meat shredded or in small chunks
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 20 green grapes halved or quartered (reserve a few for garnish)
- 4 Tbsps mayonnaise or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup toasted almond slices (you can sub walnuts or pecans)
- Greens of your choice
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsps roasted or fresh red pepper diced
- sprinkle paprika
- 1 cup finely diced, peeled green apple
- finely minced parsley
- Toast almond slices in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat on stove. Watch them carefully since nuts can burn quickly. Toasting the slices might take 5-8 minutes.
- Cut chicken, celery and grapes (and any of the optional ingredients) into small uniform pieces.
- Mix in mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
- Plate up some lettuce or greens of you choice. Top with a ¼ of the chicken salad mix. Top with toasted almonds. (Garnish also with hot pepper flakes, paprika or parsley if using).