How to Make Chicken Salad and 4 Recipes to Try

It’s easier than you think!

<p>Greg DuPree</p>
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Chicken salad is a quick way to turn leftover cooked chicken into an easy and satisfying meal. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and can be eaten on a green salad, toast, crackers, etc. It’s also a blank canvas for creating the flavor profile you desire, playing around with spices, blends, and more. to satisfy any craving or use the treats you have in the fridge. Think apples, horseradish, dried cranberries, radishes, pickles…keep it simple or get creative.

Arielle Nir Mamiye, culinary director of the Jewish Food Society, is a fan of an Indian-Baghdadi chicken salad recipe that combines leftover chicken and potatoes with spices, plus hard-boiled eggs and lots of herbs fresh, for a flavor bomb of a dish. She also likes a lighter salad that’s low in mayonnaise or with a lemon vinaigrette and tons of cilantro. Chicken salad can also be dressed in balsamic vinaigrette or peanut sauce, or even pesto. If you like a condiment, it will most likely go well with cold chicken.

Related: Is Olive Oil Going Bad? Here’s what you need to know

However you make it, chicken salad can suit your tastes and refresh leftovers in so many new ways. Here’s how to do it.

How to make chicken salad

When you want to make chicken salad, start with cooked chicken, any leftover chicken or a store bought cold roast chicken (without the skin) can work. White meat is standard, but you can also use dark meat if you like.

If you don’t have cooked chicken ready, poach boneless chicken breasts by cooking them in salted boiling water until the internal temperature reaches 165, about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the breast of chicken. Let cool and follow the steps below:

  1. Using two forks, shred your chicken. Or, if you prefer, cut your chicken into small pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Add about ¼ cup of mayonnaise per cup of cut chicken, plus a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

  3. Add a crunchy item, such as diced celery, onion, or nuts, such as pecans or walnuts. Stir in some fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives or tarragon, and your chicken salad is ready.

  4. Serve immediately or store your chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Related: How to Grill Chicken Thighs

If you prefer a lighter chicken salad, consider swapping in sour cream, plain yogurt, or even lemon juice for the dressing instead of using mayonnaise.

Chicken Salad Recipes

Now that you know how to make chicken salad, let these simple recipes inspire you to experiment with new dressings, ingredients and more.

Spicy chicken salad

<p>Greg DuPree</p>
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Dill pickles and tarragon are the key to spicing up this classic chicken salad. Also reserve some fresh herbs for garnish. It’s perfect for a picnic!

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Herbed Chicken Salad Toasts

Victor Protais

Worthy of your favorite bakery, these open-faced chicken salad sandwiches start with a rotisserie chicken and make for a classy meal that begs to be eaten outdoors. The shaved radish on top adds a nice crunch to every bite.

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Chicken curry in a hurry

John Kernick

John Kernick

Prepare this chicken and save the leftovers to turn it into a chicken salad! Simply shred the leftover chicken, add some yogurt, and you’ll be rewarded with a creamy lunch option.

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Related: 27 Essential and Easy Chicken Recipes for Every Day of the Week

Crunchy Chicken Tortilla Salad

Victor Protais

Victor Protais

Chicken salad makes a great salad topping and can be a quick way to add protein to a no-cook meal. Replace your chicken salad with the grilled chicken called for in this recipe, and it will add a little creaminess to a crispy dish.

get the recipe

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