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Best-Ever Chicken Salad Recipe

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This Best-Ever Chicken Salad recipe is a delightful and versatile dish that’s perfect for lunch, picnics, or a light dinner. Combining tender chicken, fresh grapes, crunchy almonds, and a creamy dressing, this chicken salad is both flavorful and satisfying. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the ingredients, instructions, and tips for making the perfect chicken salad. Additionally, we’ll provide variations and address frequently asked questions to ensure you achieve the best results.

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Ingredients

For the Chicken Salad:

  • 3 – 4 lbs of chicken parts (bone-in, skin-on thighs and breasts work well)
  • 2 tablespoons quality olive oil
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, sliced in half (red and green varieties are great)
  • 1 cup almonds, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more, to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Season Chicken: Rub the chicken parts with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Roast Chicken: Place the chicken parts on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) and the skin is crispy and golden brown.
  4. Cool and Shred: Allow the chicken to cool slightly. Remove the skin and bones, and shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Prepare the Dressing

  1. Mix Dressing Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Whisk until smooth and well combined.

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, sliced grapes, sliced almonds (if using), sliced celery, thinly sliced scallions, chopped dill, and chopped parsley.
  2. Add Dressing: Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and toss gently until everything is evenly coated.

Step 4: Chill and Serve

  1. Chill Salad: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. Serve: Serve the chicken salad chilled, on a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich, or with crackers. Enjoy!

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes

  • Chicken: Using bone-in, skin-on chicken parts enhances the flavor, but you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for convenience.
  • Grapes: Both red and green seedless grapes add a nice sweetness and color contrast to the salad.

Variations

  1. Fruit Additions: Add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries or diced apples for extra sweetness and texture.
  2. Nut Substitutions: Substitute almonds with walnuts or pecans for a different crunch.
  3. Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the dressing for a spicy version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Yes, this chicken salad can be made a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Q2: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store any leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Q3: Can I freeze chicken salad?

A: It’s not recommended to freeze chicken salad as the texture of the mayonnaise and fresh ingredients may change upon thawing.

Q4: What can I serve with Chicken Salad?

A: This chicken salad pairs well with a side salad, fresh fruit, or a light soup. It’s also great served on croissants, in wraps, or with pita bread.

Q5: Can I use rotisserie chicken?

A: Yes, rotisserie chicken is a convenient option and can be used instead of roasting your own chicken.

The Best-Ever Chicken Salad is a delicious and versatile dish that’s perfect for any meal. With its combination of tender chicken, fresh grapes, crunchy almonds, and a creamy dressing, it’s sure to be a hit with family and friends. Follow these simple steps and tips to create a tasty and satisfying chicken salad that everyone will love. Serve this delightful dish with your favorite sides for a complete and refreshing meal!