I love chicken salad, but I don't really have a go-to recipe...not until now, at least! Cindy's chicken salad has lots of great flavor and texture going on from the addition of bacon, dried cherries, nuts, and a flavorful creamy dressing. I made a few minor changes to her recipe to use what I had on hand in my kitchen; I used dried cranberries instead of the cherries, and I used shallots instead of green onions and added some black pepper to the dressing. When I got home with my roasted chicken, it was a bit smaller than I had estimated...so I had to scale down the ingredients for 3 cups of diced chicken.
THE Chicken Salad
adapted from Everyday Insanity
Step 1: Add the following ingredients to a large bowl: 3 cups diced chicken breast (I used roasted chicken from the deli to save time, but you can also cook chicken tenders yourself), 3 pieces bacon (cooked and crumbled), 1/3 cup roasted pecan pieces, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, and 1 cup sliced celery.
Step 2: Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl: 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tbs. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, a few grinds black pepper, and 2 tbs. finely diced shallot. Whisk to combine and add to the bowl with the chicken mixture.
Step 3: Stir well to evenly mix up the ingredients. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let all the flavors combine and chill. Serve the chicken salad on split croissants or on a bed of lightly dressed salad greens.
This really is fabulous chicken salad...every bite is a little bit different. Sometimes you get the sweet-tart cranberries, and sometimes a bit of smoky bacon. I had never added sour cream to chicken salad before, but it made a nice difference in the texture and cut some of the richness of the mayo. Even better? The leftovers were even better the next day, after the flavors had a chance to hang out and mingle a bit more.
I had some of the leftover chicken salad wrapped in a warmed flour tortilla with some romaine lettuce, and it made a fantastic wrap sandwich! I have a feeling that this chicken salad is going to be in my regular rotation as we move into Spring and Summer. By using store-bought roasted chicken, I was able to whip this up in about 20 minutes by making the dressing and chopping the chicken and celery while the bacon cooked.