Chicken salad is one of those classics that it’s ok to mess with.
My 98 year old grandmother, Mamaw, lives with my mom and dad, right down the street from Joey and me. We’re lucky to have family so close and I still don’t spend as much time with Mamaw as I should. My mom does all the hard work of taking care of the house, cooking for my dad and Mamaw, and she works at our our spice shop in Duck.
Last night, I roasted a bunch of bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts to use for Joey’s sandwich fillings (I recently decided we could do better than processed turkey every day). While I was at it, I made some chicken salad to share with Mamaw and maybe lighten my mom’s load just a teeny tiny bit. I wondered while I was slicing the grapes and toasting the nuts whether Mamaw even likes chicken salad. And would she mind these extra ingredients I like to throw in for sweetness and crunch? She’s told me stories of raising chickens growing up in southern Virginia and her mother ringing the chickens’ necks herself (!). Surely, some of those chickens found their way to a bowl of mayo and chopped celery? So, I’ve just added some juicy red grapes, toasted pecans and walnuts, minced shallots, and some tangy dried cranberries. An updated classic for Mamaw – hope she likes it and I hope you do, too!Print
This chicken salad recipe guarantees juicy, flavorful chicken with perfect pops of sweetness and crunch.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner, Lunch
- Cuisine: American
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 2.5 lbs)
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 C mayonnaise
- 1/4 C greek yogurt
- 2 ribs of celery, diced small
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/2 C red grapes, quartered
- 1/2 C toasted pecans or walnuts chopped or toasted slivered almonds – whatever you like
- 1/4 C dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
- Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and drizzle/rub both sides with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven for about 50 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temp of 165. Let chicken cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, combine the mayo and greek yogurt in a large bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the celery, shallot, grapes, nuts, and cranberries to the bowl with the mayo & yogurt.
- When the chicken is cool enough, remove the skin and pull the meat off the bones, transfer to a cutting board.
- Dice the chicken into 1/2 ” cubes and add it to the bowl.
- Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to your taste.
Serve this chicken salad over greens or on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato. Or, just eat it out of the bowl, standing at your kitchen counter:)
After you combine the mayo, greek yogurt, and salt & pepper, you might like to remove about a 1/4 C of this mixture to a small bowl and set it aside until you’ve added all the other ingredients, just to make sure it’s not too wet. Add some or all of it in at the end to get the consistency you like.
Also, I like to soak my minced shallots in some ice water for about 10 minutes before draining them and adding them to the salad. Otherwise, I get heartburn. That’s just me, but it may help you too!
Keywords: chicken salad recipe