In my not-that-adventurous 20′s, on the rare occasion I actually made chicken salad, I would add light mayonnaise and maybe celery if we happen to have any. Truth be told, I was more of a tuna salad girl, and, even then, the extent of my daring was to add celery salt.
In my getting-to-know yourself 30′s, I discovered the delight of combining chicken with something sweet, like grapes, golden raisins, or cranberries sauce. Believe me, that was a huge leap!
Now, in my unplugged, energized, hear-me-roar 40′s, my fave way to prepare this is to combine the sweet with the savory, add crunch via nuts and celery, and season with a combo of salt, pepper, and usually basil. I almost always use chicken that I have roasted or stewed myself, but have used canned chicken (rinsed to rid it of all that extra sodium) and it works just as well. Make it the night before, let the flavors mingle, and it is truly fantastic.
Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
Makes ~ 5 cups of chicken salad
(enough for 6 generous sandwiches)
2 c. chicken, cooked and cut into bite-size chunks
2 medium celery stalk, diced
1 large handful dried cranberries (~ 1/3 cup)
1 large handful chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (I really like Smart Balance and Hellman’s Reduced Fat with Olive Oil)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined and mayonnaise is incorporated evenly. Adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Serve on a whole grain roll, flour tortilla, toasted whole grain English muffin, or atop a green salad. Enjoy!