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The Perfect Chicken Salad Recipe

If you want a delicious meal that stays fresh, and somehow tastes better the second day, we can't recommend this recipe enough. Stuff it in a lettuce wrap or slide it between two to slices of your favorite bread. Creamy, crunchy, sweet and salty, it's the perfect balance of flavors to get you excited about your next meal. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 5 people

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • mallet for pounding chicken (optional)
  • food processor (optional)

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3-4 chicken breasts skinless
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 cup red grapes halved or quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh dill minced
  • ½ cup almonds slivered or chopped

For the Dressing

  • ½ cup mayonaise of your choice
  • ½ cup full-fat cream or half and half
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

How to Poach Chicken

  • (skip this step if you're using pre-cooked chicken)
  • Rinse your chicken, lay it on a cutting board and pound it down with a mallet so the pieces are more even throughout.
  • In a large pot, lay your chicken at the bottom, and cover with cold water, to an inch above the surface of your chicken. 
  • Now you can add all the goods that will make your chicken taste delicious. Just use whatever you have on hand and add it to your pot. 
    a few dashes of dry white wine
    a tablespoon of whole peppercorns
    sprigs fresh dill, thyme or oregano
    half a lemon, with the peel cut off 
    plenty of salt (3 - 4 tsp.)
    small onion, peeled and quartered
  • Heat slowly on medium heat, until a very low boil starts. Quickly lower heat and reduce to a simmer; allow to cook for 8-10 minutes. Your chicken will cook quickly, but time will vary depending on the size and amount of chicken you're poaching. You can use an internal thermometer which should reach 150°F in the center of the chicken, or you can simply cut into a piece and make sure it's no longer pink. 
  • Voila. Let chicken cool on a cutting board for 20 minutes, then slice into small squares. 

Preparing your Salad

  • First, you want to clean and chop all your fruits, veggies and chicken. Personally, to save a ton of time and energy, for the celery and almonds (I had whole almonds on hand), I used a food processor and pulsed until I got the small pieces I wanted. Make sure all your ingredients are chopped into small enough pieces so that none of them are overbearing and stealing the show.
  • Mix your mayonnaise, cream, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl to create your dressing. 
  • Add all your dry ingredients to a large bowl, and pour on all the dressing. Gently mix until everything is well incorporated. Taste, and any salt or pepper that might be needed. 

Notes

Your chicken salad can be enjoyed right away, but it really soaks up all the flavors and creates an even better flavor profile if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.
Enjoy throughout the week by making lettuce wraps, toasting some bread for a delicious chicken salad sandwich, or simply eat it by the spoonful. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
Keyword The Perfect Chicken Salad