Chicken Salad

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Introduction: Chicken Salad

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently at our parent company Autodesk, learning new things, and trying to catch …

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.

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    23 Comments

    0
    crazylam15
    crazylam15

    7 years ago

    Nice idea with the lettuce cups :)

    0
    hogey74
    hogey74

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Heh heh.  That's nothing.  Check this segment from an old Australian send-up of lifestyle shows.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRpCxSZavCQ

    If ur bored type in life support dr rudi - he's hilarious but wrong wrong wrong.

    0
    mga12
    mga12

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Dr. Rudi is fantastic! He saved my marriage!

    0
    hogey74
    hogey74

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    He has touched the lives of many people, mine included. The funniest/most disgusting segment I saw of his was this one ...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WCpb30lYKE
    ... I am surprised Life Support didn't get another season - they had good ratings :-(

    0
    Spookeriffic
    Spookeriffic

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Let me know if you make it!

    0
    hogey74
    hogey74

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Baconaise?  I just realised that I've wasted my life.  Well thus far anyway.  Baconaise???  Of course.  Maybe with extra smokiness.

    0
    bFusion
    bFusion

    11 years ago on Introduction

    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 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!

    0
    maven
    maven

    13 years ago on Step 1

    I put grapes and diced apple in mine. I may try the raisins.

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds good!  Raisins are a bit sweeter per bite, so it depends on your tastes, but the added crunch of apple goes beautifully with chicken salad.  Nice modification!

    0
    fatboyslim
    fatboyslim

    13 years ago on Introduction

    Ohhh That looks sooo good. Im definitely making that now

    0
    Trust_in_Dust
    Trust_in_Dust

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Delicious! I roasted a whole chicken for this and added a jalapeno. We had it on butter lettuce... Best chicken salad ever!

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome.  Raw jalapeno, or roasted?
    Lettuce + chicken salad is just too good.

    0
    Cedfelix
    Cedfelix

    14 years ago

    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!

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 14 years ago

    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.

    0
    PeterTheUnGreat
    PeterTheUnGreat

    14 years ago

    I read this at work durihng my lunch break and you are making me feel very hungry! Pete