These two recipes will have you thinking differently from the traditional ways of making chicken salad. I start off with roasting the chicken off. I have 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts that I place on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle the chicken with some olive oil, and a good sprinkling of Kosher salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degrees and then set them out to cool before removing the bone, skin, and dicing them into large chunks.
The next step is two have two large bowls to which I add different flavorings too.
In one bowl I add 1 cup of sliced halved grapes, 1/2 a cup of chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup of golden raisins, 1 cup of chopped fresh arugula, the juice of 1/2 of a lemon, 1/4 cup of finely diced red onion, 2 ribs of celery diced small, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. In the second bowl I add 1 mango diced, 1/4 cup of finely diced red onion, 1/2 cup of thinly sliced green onions, 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds. The other ingredient that I added to my chicken salad have a Latin flare, was to add 1 cup of cooled, sauteed, Puerto Rican style Chorizo that I had chopped into bite size pieces. This particular brand is similar to the cured Spanish style of Chorizo, and that would work just fine. This is totally optional, but if you like a bit of heat, and depth of flavor in there, this works really well. Finally a teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Now except for one last ingredient I add to each bowl.
Now in the first bowl and I did not add any fresh juice. That’s because I add 1 cup of fresh salsa, and that already has lime juice in it. The second bowl I add some fresh basil pesto (store bought if perfectly fine in this), about 2-3 tablespoons. So you can see that these two chicken salads will have to very different tastes. Next, I divide the diced roasted chicken in half, adding half to each of the bowls.
Finally I add the mayo to each of them. This may vary a little due to the juice from the salsa, in the one, and the fresh lemon juice in the other. What I’m saying here is start with a half a cup of mayo and then mix it all together, see if it’s the right consistency for you. You can always add a bit more but you can’t take it out, if you’ve added too much. No one wants a running chicken salad right?
The two varieties of chicken salad are so delicious even though they taste completely different.