Savory Chicken Salad
I put together this recipe one day after deciding I wanted something different from the chicken salad I normally make, which is sweet because it has fruit in it. I added herbs to this new salad to give it a savory tang. I love using herbs in my food as a way to bring a new twist to staple American dishes that are often very boring-tasting in their original form. This recipe will help you utilize leftover chicken and is easy to prepare. It is the perfect salad for a picnic, tea party, or lazy summer afternoon lunch. Enjoy!
- 2 cups pre-cooked chicken, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, (make sure it is not honey Dijon)
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Put the chopped chicken, celery, and nuts into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Measure the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard into a separate bowl.
- In a third, smaller bowl, combine the herbs and pepper. If you have a mortar and pestle, I would suggest crushing the herbs and pepper together a bit with them, as the mixture blends into the dressing better when the herb pieces are smaller. (You can use a bowl and the back of a soup spoon to do this if you do not have a mortar and pestle. Just mound the herbs together on one side of the bowl, then push and rub the back of the spoon against the herbs. While this requires more effort than using a mortar and pestle, it still achieves the desired results.)
- Add the herbs and pepper mixture to the bowl containing the mayonnaise and mustard. Stir well.
- Pour the herb dressing over the chicken/celery/nut mixture and combine well. Serve immediately or chill in a covered bowl for later use.
- This chicken salad pairs well with bread, crackers, pita bread, or a green salad. It is an excellent filler for finger sandwiches for a tea or garden party. If you make it for that purpose, I suggest finely chopping the chicken, celery, and nuts so that you will be able to apply the salad in a thin layer to the bread.
- If you do not have any leftover chicken, a plain rotisserie chicken purchased from the deli in your local grocery store is a great thing to use in this salad. I normally use the breast meat if I make the salad with a rotisserie chicken. A good-quality canned chicken also does the trick in a pinch.