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A tasty Asian-inspired variation on chicken salad.

Step 1: Prepare Chicken

You'll need cooked chicken. If you've got leftovers that's great- proceed directly to chopping.

I had a number of chicken breasts on hand, so I sprayed a pan with canola oil, added my chicken, covered the pieces with ground pepper (turning them to ensure full coverage) then cooked them at 350F until they just started turning golden-brown on top. Make sure the juices run clear when you slice into the middle of the thick pieces. If you're colorblind make sure you've got an assistant on hand who can tell the difference between pink and clear juices. Pink is undercooked; dry is overcooked. We want the happy medium.

If you start the meat cooking before chopping the vegetables the timing will work out very nicely.

When the chicken is cooked chop it into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Step 2: Add Base Ingredients

1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1c mayonnaise
2-3T good mustard

These are your base ingredients. Chop the vegetables well, then stir.

Step 3: Incorporate Additional Ingredients

chicken, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup raisins

Add and stir. Look at the color combination- do you like the balance of red, green, purple, brown, and white? Do you want more crunch (celery) or sweetness (raisins)? Add more of your favored bits as necessary.

Step 4: Season

Seasonings:
1 lime, zested and juiced
3 large cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Optional seasonings:
allspice
seasoned rice vinegar
cardamom
cloves
nutmeg
white pepper
sriracha chili sauce (rooster sauce)

Mix in the seasonings above; taste to check, and modify if needed. The optional seasonings are exactly that, and shouldn't all be added together. I'm particularly partial to allspice, but it and the other subtle spices would likely get lost under much sriracha. The rice vinegar is helpful if the salad is too dry, while sriracha obviously adds heat. Play around with your spicing- sniff containers, make small mixes in a spoon to try, and see what you like, or at least what you feel like eating today. There's no right or wrong here- just your taste.

Step 5: Serve

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

This is particularly good served on lettuce leaves. They add additional cruch, and remove the need for silverware. This makes fun finger food for kids or for a buffet. Here I've used individual leaves from Little Gem romaine, though it's easy to cut up larger leaves for bite-size portions.

Top with chopped toasted nuts if you like.
Nice idea with the lettuce cups :)
I wonder, do you think the Mayo could be replaced by something like Greek Yogurt or some such? I honestly can't stand Mayo, but would love to try this recipe.
looks so very tasty!
Chicken Salad! Yes!
Let me know if you make it!<br />
I'll make it with Baconaise.<br />
Baconaise?&nbsp; I just realised that I've wasted my life.&nbsp; Well thus far anyway.&nbsp; Baconaise???&nbsp; Of course.&nbsp; Maybe with extra smokiness.<br />
I made this last night, it turned out fantastic. I couldn't find any of the lettuce you talked about at my grocery, but I just took romaine leaves and that works just as well. One thing to note for those keeping track of calories is that it calls for a LOT&nbsp;of mayo... you could probably get by with a lighter coating by using a half cup (and be sure to reduce the mustard as well, then!) Thanks for posting this, it's a very versatile recipe!<br />
I put grapes and diced apple in mine. I may try the raisins.
That sounds good!&nbsp; Raisins are a bit sweeter per bite, so it depends on your tastes, but the added crunch of apple goes beautifully with chicken salad.&nbsp; Nice modification!<br />
Ohhh That looks sooo good. Im definitely making that now
How did it go?<br />
Delicious! I roasted a whole chicken for this and added a jalapeno. We had it on butter lettuce... Best chicken salad ever!
Awesome.&nbsp; Raw jalapeno, or roasted?<br /> Lettuce + chicken salad is just too good.<br />
This looked so good that I made it last night. It is as good at it looks, but I suggest only using half the onion, and go light on the cilantro. They both overpowered mine. Another idea to keep it silverware free is to stuff it in a pita. Besides that, totally go out and make this, it is excellent!
Glad you liked it! I shoud probably post warnings on my recipes: we're huge onion/garlic fans, so modify as necessary. I'm a firm believer in treating recipes as very rough guidelines, so I'm glad you made it work for you.
I read this at work durihng my lunch break and you are making me feel very hungry! Pete
That is an absolutely perfect lettuce leaf.
SF bay area farmers' markets are just about the best thing ever. We've gotten SO spoiled.
I love chicken salad. P.S. Nice photos

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