Monday, June 2, 2014

Classic Chicken Salad

With the advent of central heat and central air, why do we still save cold salads for summer meals and hot soups for winter meals?  For instance, I've been wanting tortilla soup.  It's hot outside (no complaints!!).  There were a few times during our recent nightmare of a winter that I craved some cold salads.  This chicken salad came to mind then, but the chicken usually ended up in a hearty hot dish instead.  

When my friends and I got together to plan the baby shower for Emily, I signed on for chicken salad.  Over the years, a number of chicken salad recipes have graced our table.  The recipe card for this one shows the most wear.  It is a classic that must have started from a recipe shared by a friend, a cooking magazine, a cookbook or through trial and error.  I don't remember.  The ingredient amounts are a suggestion.  As long as the chicken is moist and tender, the celery is crisp, the grapes are sweet and the mayonnaise is good, all will be well.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Through trial and error, I've found that the garlic powder works better than fresh garlic.  It lends a delicate garlic taste without making too much of a "statement"!  

I have used Ina Garten's method of roasting chicken breasts for the salad.  This time, I poached the breasts.  Both methods work well.  The secret is not to overcook.

Later in the week, I might crank down the ac and make that tortilla soup!!

Chicken Salad

3 pound of chicken breasts, poached and cooled
5 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 cups green seedless grapes, halved
1 1/2 tsps dried thyme
1 1/2 tsps garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (more if needed), good mayonnaise
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds for garnish

1.  Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4 inch pieces.
2.  Combine the chicken, celery, grapes, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper together.  Add enough mayonnaise to make the dish moist and creamy.
3.  Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours to overnight.

8 to 10 servings



  1. I don't pay too much attention to the weather or time of the year when I'm craving something. Your chicken salad sounds yummy and I always use Ina's roasted chicken recipe for any recipe where I need cooked chicken too. For me the roasted chicken is much easier than poaching.

  2. I'm an Ina fan too. Love her easy way of fixing meals. This is pretty much like my Mom's recipe. A family favorite.

  3. I love chicken salad and even better when someone makes it for me:)
    Why is it that this is not served more often?
    I would gobble it up everywhere I went!
    And there are so many neat could never tire of it.

  4. We have been known to eat chili in the summer, simply because we like it.

    I love chicken salad; in fact, I'm going to have some today at my favorite little local restaurant. She puts diced apples and cinnamon in hers. I think it's the best chicken salad on the planet.

    I cook my chicken by putting it in the slow cooker on low for about 8 hours. Then I dice it up and freeze it. Very moist that way.

    Have a great day,

  5. Great salad for the warm weather. Blessings, Catherine

  6. YUM.... Love that version of chicken salad (with grapes in it)... One of my fav's.... We still eat soups some in the summer --but don't eat salads as much in the winter... ha ha.... Wonder why!!!! (Creatures of habit, aren't we?)

    Don't worry about the email gadget --unless you want to do it. (I can help if needed.) BUT--with your blogs, I can easily get to you through the FB post....


  7. I like hot soups all year long, Bonnie, and I've made chicken salad in the just depends on the whims I have that day! :) This looks delicious!

  8. It looks wonderful!!! I LOVE chicken salad! So what time's dinner and shall I dress casual??? Sorry, I have a bad back so I CANNOT help with the dishes! I heard somewhere a long time ago that we craved the foods that our bodies happen to need at the time, I don't know if I believe it or not.

    1. Dress casually and come on over. In order to get out of doing dishes, you'll need a doctor's certificate!!

  9. I love seeing a new chicken salad recipe . . . One I will try too.
    I made chicken salad for a recent baby shower and added honey to mayo . . . what a delicious twist it was . . . I am looking forward to trying your recipe with the thyme . . .

  10. Love this recipe. Chicken salad is one of my favorites. I used to hear that hot soups or drinks cool us off in the hot weather (via sweat maybe? !)

  11. I just made a chicken salad sandwich for lunch today! Never added thyme to it though, that sounds good! I kinda eat what sounds good whenever, but seeing a comment above... Much to my son's dismay, I seem to save chili for football season:@)

  12. you read my mind. My mom is coming in town tomorrow and I was going to make her chicken salad for lunch! This is perfect

  13. Oh, I'd love this salad any time of year! Grapes go perfectly with the chicken and celery is mandatory! Wonder if you're getting all this rain today?

  14. My husband's Aunt makes the same chicken salad with grapes - at first I was taken aback by the grapes, but it's good! Still not a huge fan of mayo though!

  15. I love a good chicken salad and grapes are a perfect addition. I'm with you, Bonnie. I enjoy soup all year long. Same with chicken salad.

  16. I don't know anyone that doesn't like chicken salad and your recipe is a good one. Restaurants here in New England serve clam chowder all summer long and everyone orders it so I say go for your tortilla soup. :)


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