Thursday, November 19, 2009


The beauty of forcing yourself to cook new things is that in the process you discover the use of herbs, spices, flavors, and techniques that you may not have stumbled upon otherwise. Not that chicken salad is hard to make or anything, but this is probably my fourth or fifth attempt at a recipe that hubby likes. See, he loves chicken salad but there's only about a couple of places he wants to eat it from: Napoleon's Restaurant (small eatery in our home town) and his mother's. I guess I need to ask her for her recipe since I've been missing the target lately. However, I did brave up and decide to try something new this time... and I just might be creeping closer to victory!

I usually buy the canned chicken from the store when making chicken salad, but the Pioneer Woman does not. This woman is basically living the life I dream of, so when she speaks- I listen. Enter: poached chicken (bone-in). For this recipe, I had to pick the meat off the bones instead of just dump it out of a can and I sincerely appreciate the experience. Why was I so scared of chicken bones before?? The chicken salad turned out great and hubby actually liked it. Score. Enjoy!

Chicken Salad
The Pioneer Woman 

1 whole cut up fryer chicken
2 stalks (to three stalks) celery, chopped
3 whole green onions, chopped
2 cups (to 3 cups) grapes, halved
a small handful of fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream [I used a little of both]
1 T. (to 2 T.) brown sugar
1 T. (to 2 T.) lemon juice
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste

Step 1: Rinse chicken thoroughly and place in a large pot of water. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done (about 45 minutes to an hour). When you are ready, remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate. With your fingers or a fork, pull all of the meat off the bones, chip into bite-sized chunks and set aside.
Step 2: Chop all of your fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl with the chicken. In another bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro...whatever makes your skirt fly up) and if you're feeling a bit brazen throw in a dash of cayenne pepper! When the dressing tastes just right (you must taste test for appropriate saltiness especially), pour it over the chicken/veggie/fruit mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed.
Step 3: Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, this is almost exactly how I make mine, minus the dill b/c rosemary is better! :) I love to have some nuts and the celery for crunch, and the grapes add some sweet. It's so delicious!