This past week, as I was making this very chicken salad, I figured out the key to a perfect chicken salad, catered to you. All chicken salads are from the same formula. Chicken+ add-ins + dressing = chicken salad. The chicken of course must be delicious in the beginning, which is why I prefer to roast my chicken.
I agree with Ina (a cooking hero of mine 😉 that roasting chicken on the bone with skin produces a juice chicken for anything, but mainly chicken salad. This week I did not use bone-in or skin-on simply because I did not have it on hand; however, I still sprinkled it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, preheated the oven to 375 degrees, and baked it for 15-20 minutes. For some reason, if the oven can do most of the work, I let it. This philosophy includes chicken and mainly bacon (recipe to come soon).
The dressing can include and usually does mayonnaise; however, a friend of mine hates mayo and uses ranch dressing. This I must try someday, whenever I write it down. When one is making chicken salad, be sure to mix the dressing, whatever it is, with the seasonings separately from the chicken and add-ins. Everything will be seasoned properly. The seasonings can include simply salt and pepper or sweet pickle relish, as in this recipe. One time I used pesto in the dressing with sun-dried tomatoes and basil as add-ins; it was yummy!!! Whatever you mix in, just mix the seasonings and dressing together before adding it to the chicken. And remember, you can always add more dressing, you can never take away dressing, so be easy on adding the dressing in.
The add-ins are particular to your preference. I always add celery; it’s a vegetable and is good for you. Plus it adds crunch and stability to the chicken salad. After that I usually like to add some kind of dried or fresh fruit and nuts. Sometimes bacon is good too, but whatever you think sounds good, add it in. Mix it with the chicken prior to adding the dressing.
So T likes the Chick-Fil-A chicken salad sandwiches; he has never liked my chicken salad, maybe because I never serve it to him as sandwich form. Neways, I researched on the Internet and found this recipe. It sounds pretty good, and it goes along with my formula. Now I must make bread to serve T his chicken salad.
T’s Chicken Salad
Adapted slightly from Recipelink.com
2 cups of chicken, shredded and chopped finely
1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
2/3 cup mayonnaise (light)
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar (I used a packet of Splenda)
Mix the chicken and celery together. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together. Taste to see if any adjustments need to be made, then spoon in the dressing into the chicken and celery mixture. Mix thoroughly and add additional dressing if needed. Cover and chill for about 1 hour for the flavors to develop. Serve as you wish, sandwich, crackers, salad.
Makes 3 cups.