Chicken salads are quick and easy to throw together. It’s a great way to use up leftover meat from a roast chicken. You can also pre-cook and freeze chicken meat, then simply thaw by placing it overnight in the fridge. The next day it will be ready for chicken salad (or any other use).
My kids have been enjoying this particular chicken salad lately. It’s spiked with sweet pieces of dried apricots, fresh green onions from the garden, crunchy pecans, and crisp celery. Chicken salad is such a forgiving recipe and so easy to tweak based on your personal preferences. It’s hard to mess it up! You can chop the add-ins (apricots, celery, etc.) roughly for a chunky salad or dice them for a finer chicken salad. I follow after my nana in this case and prefer a fine dice, really almost a mince.
Chicken Salad with Dried Apricots, Green Onions, & Pecans
- 1-1.5 lbs chopped or shredded chicken meat
- 8 dried apricots
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2-3 celery ribs
- 2 green onions
- 1/2-1 cup mayonnaise *
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the chicken in a mixing bowl. Dice the apricots, celery and green onions and add to the bowl. Add the pecans and mayonnaise. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add more mayonnaise if desired. Serve alone, with crackers or on bread for a sandwich.
* Regular mayonnaise from the store is generally chock-full of refined oils and preservatives, neither of which are good for your body. Look for an organic mayonnaise, and ideally one made from an oil that is not canola or soybean. That can be hard to find, though, and quite pricey. However, there are two simple alternatives. 1) If you have farm-fresh eggs and are comfortable eating them raw, mayonnaise is very easy to make. Please remember there is a slight risk of salmonella from raw eggs, and the elderly, pregnant, young children or those immune-compromised should be especially cautious. 2) I have found that combining a mild olive oil with sour cream creates a similar flavor and consistency to mayonnaise when it’s mixed into something like chicken salad, tuna fish, or egg salad. I first combine the sour cream and olive oil, about 3 parts sour cream to olive oil, then mix into the salad and add more olive oil as needed to get the flavor and consistency right. I should note, though, that we are not huge mayo fans. So if you love your Hellman’s or Miracle Whip or whatever, this option might not be for you.
Christy Greer is a wife and mom of four who loves good food and loves to cook. Christy blogs at Whole Foods on a Budget, where she shares favorite recipes, tips on buying quality food on a small budget, information on gardening in small spaces and ideas for natural living, with an emphasis on encouraging her readers to do what they can to make small steps toward healthier living. Christy and her sister Jessica are releasing their first cookbook this summer. You can find Christy on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Photo Credit: Author