Do you ever notice how certain dishes always taste better when somebody else makes them? Chicken salad was one of those things for me. That is, until I really thought about what it was that I liked about other peoples’ chicken salads, and set out to finally nail down the perfect recipe. What I came up with was this: Sweet Apple Chicken Salad! It’s perfect, and it is so gooood.
We do a lot of roasted chicken around here, and this is a great way to use up all the extra meat that you pick off the bones, plus the one or two lone pieces that seem to always be left over! This is the perfect recipe for using up leftover rotisserie chicken too!
What’s the key to making perfect chicken salad?
- Start with good mayonnaise. This is important! Real mayo… none of that low calorie crud with all the fillers and chemicals. I’m not a homemade mayo person (but if you are, great) so I use Chosen Foods brand- healthy oils and no junk added. Just smooth, delicious, slather-it-on-anything mayo!
- It should have some crunchy veggies in it… but not too many. Celery and onion, chopped fairly small are the way to go here, and I prefer red onion for both its color, and because it isn’t too overpowering.
- Seasonings- for one, make sure there is enough salt or it will taste bland. I keep tarragon in the cupboard and will admit that chicken salad is really the only thing I use it for. In my opinion, this is THE flavor for chicken salad!
- It needs a little sweetness. I think this is what I was missing from a lot of the other chicken salads I’ve made. Adding just a tiny bit of maple syrup, along with some sweet, crunchy apple makes a ton of difference!
- I’ve also discovered that I don’t like dried fruit in my chicken salad (too chewy) or nuts (too crunchy), so this recipe doesn’t have either.
Sweet Apple Chicken Salad Recipe
This recipe is: grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free
1/3 cup Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
1 tsp real maple syrup
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken, ideally from a roasted chicken with some browned skin included
1/4 cup celery diced small
1 Tbs finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup peeled and diced apple (tart apples work best)
In a mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, parsley, and tarragon.
Add in the chicken, celery, red onion, and apple and then fold the ingredients together until well combined.
If you prefer more creaminess, go ahead and stir in another tablespoon or so of mayonnaise.
Serve between two slices of bread, or on a big pile of greens!
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