Chicken salad, oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways.
I love you on a roll.
I love you on a bun.
I love you on some lettuce.
How you make my lunch so fun!
Take that Shakespeare!
Okay, so I won’t be winning the Pulitzer Prize for poetry anytime soon. My poetry skills have pretty much stayed at a 1st grade level. But my love for chicken salad is a deep and lasting one. For me, a good chicken salad has to have a nice balance of being able to taste the moist roasted chicken along with the creaminess and taste of mayonnaise. This recipe strikes a good balance of both and the other add-in ingredients, like celery, onion or grapes are all optional to suite your tastes.
2 whole chicken breasts (split, bone-in, with skin)
1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup red grapes, cut in half (optional)
Preheat oven to 350f degrees. On a baking sheet, place chicken breasts skin side up. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and then sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning.
Cook for about 35-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Allow chicken to cool before continuing. Once chicken is cool, remove meat. You can save the bones and skin for chicken stock later, if you prefer. Cut the chicken up into bite size chunks. In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, celery, onion and salt & pepper. I usually add about 2 tsp. of salt and maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add in diced chicken and stir. Serve on croissants, your favorite bread or just a bed of lettuce.
Cook’s Note: Over the years I’ve seen so many interesting and tasty ingredients being added to chicken salad. I still prefer the traditional chicken salad but I sometimes enjoy adding some red or green grapes or toasted pecans to add a little texture and variety (as seen in above picture). You may also like to add in some apples or walnuts. Another great suggestion is to substitute nonfat plain yogurt for the mayonnaise if you are adverse to mayonnaise or are just cutting back on the fat content. You can use nonfat sour cream as well. And, you can buy a premade rotisserie chicken from your deli to make these. I think those tend to be on the expensive side though unless you can get them on special.