Joshua has been bugging me for the last week to write about the chicken salad we brought on our trip to Beaufort. I was putting it off because it’s old news now, and there isn’t really a recipe. Isn’t chicken salad kind of subjective? Anyway, he declares that this was the best he’s tasted, so I guess it’s worth sharing. 😉
Here’s a little travel tip before we begin: have coffee with a friend the morning of your trip, or the day before, and ask the barista for two extra plastic cups of a suitable size, with lids. Then pack your chicken salad in them for the road, layered with chopped lettuce leaves for crunch. Don’t forget the plastic forks.
Serves 4 as a real meal, without bread/buns
1 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cooled
1 heart celery
Dried fruit, such as raisins or cranberries, OR fresh fruit, like grapes or chopped apples (I did dried cranberries for this batch)
Nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, or cashews (I used pecans and cashews)
Dried dill (or fresh if you have it!)
Salt & pepper
Notice that we don’t have many measurements here. That’s because you get to decide every amount. If you’re into nuts, put in more for the extra crunch. If you like the fruity aspect of chicken salad, load up on the fruits.
What I did for mine, which worked marvelously, was this:
Dice the chicken and put it in a large mixing bowl. Chop up the celery, saving a few pieces to munch on while you continue to make the salad – this will help you not snack on the dried fruit or nuts, and celery is actually negative calories. 😀
Add your nuts and fruit; I put in about half a cup dried cranberries and half a cup nuts (pecans and cashews mixed). Maybe more nuts. I do like my nuts.
Sprinkle in the salt and pepper and a generous amount of dried dill. That’s the key ingredient – chicken salad just isn’t the same without dill.
Then, add your yogurt. Start with less than you think you might need, and go from there. You’re looking for the chicken salad consistency you prefer – there is no right or wrong here. Some people like theirs on the drier side, especially if they’re eating it with a fork and not on a bun. Others like it to be a mass of white goop with chicken corners sticking out like icebergs. Your call. Before you get it to the consistency you desire, add a bit of mayo to help bind things together. Yogurt can be a little watery, but I like the tang of the flavor. I’m sure it helps with the fat content, too, if you care about that. I probably used about a cup of yogurt and a quarter cup mayo.
Joshua says: 10 out of 10. Like I said – best ever!