Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fruit-free Chicken Salad

It has taken me a long time to find a chicken salad I'll actually eat. I've told you before about my distaste for those indiscriminate "salads" they serve in deli cases and such, so I don't really jump at the chance to eat chicken salad in the first place. When I find some place that makes fresh chicken salad, it almost always contains fruit, and I am not a fan of fruit in savory meals. I can go the opposite direction and eat bacon in dessert all day long, but I do not want cherries, cranberries, apples, grapes, or raisins in my chicken salad. Maybe it's because of the mayonnaise; I'm not really sure. Either way, I just can't do it.

Despite all that, I really did want to find a chicken salad that I would like. I resolved that I'd just have to make my own, and after browsing tons and tons of recipes online and pulling ideas from a variety of them, I came up with this one. It's really versatile because it's good both hot and cold. Often, Justin and I will make it, roll up a few spoonfuls in some Pillsbury crescent rolls, and bake it in the oven until the rolls are done. The cheese gets a bit melty, and the butteriness of the crescent rolls pairs with the rest of the flavors really nicely. In the summer though, I like to eat it cold on a croissant or ciabatta. (Justin, on the other hand, isn't all about cold food, so he always eats it hot.) Like I said though, it's good either way.

When we're looking to save on calories, we make this with low fat mayo, which doesn't affect the flavor too much because of all the other stuff you're mixing into it. I would recommend that you use a mild-flavored cheese such as Swiss, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella. I know that most chicken salads have a lot more stuff in them (nuts, fruit, vegetables, etc.) than this one does, but that's why I like this one. I don't want giant hunks of celery in there. Yuck! You can add them if you want, but just leave me out of it. You can also replace the parsley flakes with minced, fresh parsley if you want, but I didn't have any on hand.


1/2 c mayonnaise
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
Dash of vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c diced red onion
1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken, diced and cooked
1 c shredded cheese (Swiss recommended)


Whisk together mayonnaise, poultry seasoning, salt, parsley, pepper, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir in garlic and onion. Add chicken and stir to coat. Mix in Swiss cheese until well combined. Serve hot or cold.

Servings: 4

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