Saturday, June 20, 2009

Anything Goes Chicken Salad

I'm one lucky gal, because my boyfriend makes the best chicken salad in the world. Like with his marinades, Jeff follows no recipe; he just goes with the flow and follows his instincts, and the results are always delicious. He has such a talent for these things.

Some elements never change: he always shreds his cooked chicken with two forks, rather than cubing it, which I find makes a big difference when it comes to the texture of the salad; it contrasts nicely with the chunky vegetables and fruit that he also throws in. He never uses anything other than Hellmann's mayonnaise and whole grain dijon mustard to make the dressing, and he always adds his favourite chicken salad herbs to the mix: rosemary and thyme. Kosher salt and plenty of freshly cracked pepper are also required, of course.

What makes his chicken salad different every time he makes it, are the additions. Once the base of his salad is made up, he adds in any combination of the following:

-diced celery stalks
-chopped cucumbers
-chopped green onion
-cubed apples
-cubed pears
-dried cranberries
-halved grapes

The more, the better!

His big secret is to let the chicken salad sit for at least several hours, or overnight if possible. It is so hard to resist (I'll admit that I steal bites from it every time I walk by the fridge; sorry, honey!) but it allows all of the flavours to meld together beautifully.

This particular version was made from charcoal-grilled chicken breasts, and contained apples, cucumbers, celery, and walnuts.

Although delicious over spinach greens, my favourite way to eat Jeff's chicken salad is on a multi-grain baguette.

I usually eat this chicken salad sandwich open-faced, to ensure the maximal filling-to-bread ratio. It might be messy, but it's so good that I can't be bothered.

Since Jeff is mine and you can't have him, you'll have to try out this amazing culinary experience yourself. It's easy; shred up some left-over chicken, load on the dressing, then open up your fridge and see what happens with the ingredients you have on hand. I guarantee that you can't go wrong.


  1. tell Jeff that he needs to put an alarm on the fridge so he can catch you sneaking bites of this obviously fantastic tasting chicken salad! BTW - the next time you are in Fredericton, Jeff will be making this for all to enjoy! xoxo

  2. Oh yum, I never thought to shred the chicken instead of cubing it - I LOVE chicken salad and your list of possibilities seems endless! I'm a huge fan of cashews in chicken salad too!

  3. Oh, as if he isn't sneaking bites, too, Mom! :)

    Hey Sarah. The nutty crunchiness is out of this world with chicken!

  4. I made it this week with chicken thighs, with similar yummy results!

  5. You are a lucky girl. This salad is amazing.

  6. Don't I know it, Dragon! Thanks. :)

  7. love it... think it will taste great... :P

  8. Thank you, Toothfairynotes! Hope you enjoy. :)