Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Mayo Chicken Salad

Sometimes retro foods, regardless of their comfort value, can and in some cases should be reinvented. Whenever I have left-over baked chicken or rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator, I'm thinking chicken salad. One day I found two large left-over breasts in the refrigerator. Since my wife and I both love chicken salad, we immediately went to work making a healthy version of a family classic. The finished product amazed both of us.
Left-over oven baked chicken
2-8 oz. chicken breasts,* skinless, oven baked
2 tbsp. celery, chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp. red onion, chopped into small pieces
10 whole red, green, or combination of seedless grapes
as needed dressing, recipe follows
Chop that chicken
INGREDIENTS (dressing)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Grey Poupon mustard
1 tbsp. honey, or agave
1 tbsp. cashews,** fine crushed, optional
Add the dressing to the salad
NOTE: *The chicken breasts are seasoned to your taste while you are baking them. **The cashews are processed into crumbs, not a paste like peanut butter. While we used cashews for our salad, walnuts would have been healthier choice. Smoked almonds are another option because of the smokey taste they bring.
Toss that salad
DIRECTIONS: Prepare the chicken salad dressing first. In a small bowl add and mix together the vinegar, mustard, and finally the honey. Mix well with a whisk until the mixture comes together and is smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Taste the dressing by putting a cube of the chicken on a toothpick. Dip it in the dressing and then taste. If the after-taste has a bite, add more olive oil. If it doesn’t have any bite, add some more vinegar. We are looking for a balanced flavor.

Serve on a bed of lettuce

If you prefer a sweeter dressing add more honey. Before adding the extra honey, remember that the grapes will also provide more sweetness. It’s really up to you. If you like cashews, walnuts, or smokehouse almonds, add the nuts to the dressing and mix well. Refrigerate until needed.
Maybe you prefer a flat bread sandwich

In a large bowl mix together the chicken cubes, celery, onions, and grapes. Gently fold the dressing into the salad being careful not to crush the grapes. Once mixed together, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least a half hour. Serve on a cold plate on a bed of lettuce, or as a sandwich, using a 1/2 cup measure per serving. 
Yield: 6 half cup servings
© TMelle 2014


Gundie said...

Looks very yummy Mr. Melle. Nice to see some "healthier Choices" mixed in with your other very tantalizing dishes.
Is the consistency pretty close regular mayo? Peace and Love, Gundie

Lin said...

Looks good.

The Retro Cooking Guy said...

The consistency is nothing like mayo and it pours on. Try it with smoked almonds or walnuts.