Haunted by a delectable lunch enjoyed at Ophelia's last fall (more about that here), I've made it my mission to create impeccable variations of chicken salad---one inspired by each of the four seasons.
Since June 21st marked the beginning of summer, when the earth is putting vast amounts of energy into growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, shrubs and trees, I decided to create an Orchard-Style Chicken Salad that is both light and refreshing, perfect for the dog days ahead.
Held together by lightly seasoned mayonnaise and packed full of just-baked chicken & bite-size chunks of apples, red grapes, walnuts and celery, I hope you enjoy this fruit-filled twist on a cool summer sandwich!
Speak up: What do you love or loathe in chicken salad?
Orchard-Style Chicken Salad
- 3 baked and cooled boneless, skinless chicken breasts (lightly season free-range organic for the best flavor)
- 1 red apple, cored and chopped (skin on or off, cook's choice)
- 3-5 stalks celery (depending on size) cleaned, trimmed and chopped
- 30-35 seedless red grapes, cleaned and halved
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup quality mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman's Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise, but encourage you to use your favorite brand)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chop chicken breasts into bite-size chunks; place in a large mixing bowl. To the chicken add chopped apples, celery, red grapes and walnuts. Add 3/4 cup mayonnaise (may adjust amount up or down as desired), fold in until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Store airtight and place salad in the refrigerator until chilled and ready to serve.
To serve, stir salad thoroughly and place measured dollops in the center of lettuce cups or on halved, fresh rolls.
Yield: Serves 4-6