Chicken Fruit Salad with Cantaloupe (dairy-free)
Chicken Fruit Salad with Cantaloupe
The flexibility of this dish is based on what you have on hand
Or altered by what is on sale in the produce department that week.
For example, 2 apples can be of any type you like or any 2 types you like, the same with the pears or you can substitute or add a 3rd apple for the pear and vice versa, raisins may be substituted for dried cranberries, replaced with dried cherries or dried blueberries, a mixture of your preference or even ignored all together, the same with the nuts. pecans, may be replaced with walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, or sunflower seeds. green onions may be replaced with half of a red onion for more heat, or skipped all together. I have even added shredded carrots to it for color once or twice because they were there.
Note: When combining the chicken to the fruits, vegetables, and nuts the chicken will normally be between equal to the volume of the rest or as little as a 1/4 of the volume. I have never heard any complaints when it has been shifted this direction becoming a fruit with chicken salad, even before the cantaloupe is added to the mix. This makes an excellent hot weather dish, chicken can be cooked in advance on a grill and then used to make this the next day or two. The key is always to have good sweet ripe cantaloupe.
Chicken Fruit Salad with Cantaloupe
- 2 cantaloupes, fresh ready to eat
- 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thigh meat, chicken leg meat chicken steak
- 2-3 apples, cooks choice
- 2-3 pears, cooks choice
- 2-3 stalks of celery, cooks choice
- 1/4 cup pecans, or more or walnuts etc see above
- 1/4 cup raisins, or other dried fruit see above
- 2-3 green onions, or half a red
- 1-3 cloves garlic, or none
- 1/4-1 cup mayonnaise, enough to bind it depends on the amount of dry ingredients
- some sriracha sauce, up to eater
- 1/2-1 bunch seedless grapes, red, green or both
- Chill the Cantaloupes, And ignore them for a while.
- Cook chicken, fully, if you want a drier salad cook the chicken more so that it is dry, (Note you will end up using more mayonnaise to bind the salad together.) Cut chicken into small blueberry sized pieces, and chill the chicken.
- Remove seeds from the apples and pears. Chop all fruit EXCEPT THE CANTALOUPES into blueberry sized pieces like the chicken. Remember to cut the grapes in half, trust me it is just easier if there are kids involved.
- Combine all the fruit and vegetables EXCEPT THE CANTALOUPES in a large bowl stir to mix thoroughly. Add the chicken and nuts, stir some more.
- Bind everything together with the mayonnaise. EXCEPT THE CANTALOUPES
- Chill the chicken salad
- Choose your presentation method. Either chicken salad served in half a cantaloupe, or served on top of the cantaloupe see pictures
- Prepare cantaloupe by cutting in half and scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Then either plate them up (NOT ADVISED for small children or other messy eaters.) OR Cut cantaloupe into pieces small enough to fit on a Soup spoon.
- The combination of flavors from the fruits and the savory from the garlic and onion balance for most. However, for those that like a bit of heat to things either a little black pepper, (Yes, I know.) or Sriracha sauce applied by the consumer.
- In theory, there may potentially be left overs. I has only happened when 4 or more pounds of chicken were prepared with the same amount of fruits and vegetables by volume. They store in the fridge and can made into wraps with flour tortillas, lettuce leaf, or any other method including the old standby of placing between two pieces of bread or toast.