Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three Scrumptious Chicken Salads

Here are 3 absolutely delicious chicken salads that can travel to work or to picnics and be a hit wherever you go! The first is called "Napa Valley Chicken Salad," which got its name from the use of grapes and the dressing. Next we have "Finger Lickin' Chicken Salad," for obvious reasons. The last recipe is for  "Smoked Chicken Salad with Cherries & Onions." The name alone tells the tale. Those of you who are horse-racing fans may want to call this the trifecta of chicken salad recipes. It's tough to know which will come in first place with your family.

1. Napa Valley Chicken Salad 

  • 2 c diced cooked chicken
  • 1 c seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 c chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 c thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 c Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (or your choice)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Combine chicken, grapes, celery, pecans and onions in a medium bowl. Stir together dressing and mustard and toss with salad. Cover and refrigerate. Serves 4.

2. Finger Lickin' Chicken Salad (can be used as a kebab or as a mixed salad). 
  • 1/2 c purchased carved roasted skinless chicken breast 
  • 1/2 rib celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 c drained mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 c red seedless grapes
  • 2 tbsp fat-free sugar-free lemon yogurt
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise or miracle whip
  • 1/4 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  1. Toss together chicken, celery, oranges and grapes. Place in covered plastic container.
  2. For dipping sauce, stir together yogurt, mayonnaise (dressing), soy sauce and cinnamon.
  3. Pack chicken mixture and dipping sauce in insulated bag with an ice pack for lunch or a picnic treat. To serve, dip salad into dipping sauce or pour over the top. You can skewer the chicken and fruit/vegetables if you desire. 1 serving 

3. Smoked Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Onions 
(Favorite recipe from the National Onion Association - lunch for a bunch)
  • 4 1/2 c diced smoked chicken (available at supermarkets or deli's)
  • 2 1/4 c diced sweet (or red) onions
  • 2 1/2 c diced dried tart cherries
  • 2 c mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 c diced celery
  • 1 1/2 c pecan pieces, lightly toasted (one layer on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven)
  • 1/2 c fresh minced basil
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and stir gently until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to prepare sandwiches. Great with rye or pumpernickel bread or kaiser rolls. Make 12 sandwiches (9 c chicken salad).

*Think of this one as a Chicken Waldorf Salad in a sandwich!

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