Monday, September 16, 2013

roasted chicken salad

I've been making chicken salad for years.

It's one of the things I could make before I actually put in some effort and learned how to cook.
I'd boil the chicken, chop it up in my Slap Chop {along with the celery and onion}, add mayo, and serve it up on some crackers.

While the cracker part hasn't changed {it's still my favorite way to eat any chicken salad}, I've finally started jazzing up the salad part.

And when I say "finally," I mean it literally just hit me tonight that there is a better way to do it.
Why on earth would I boil the chicken {for years now, mind you} when it's just as easy to roast it and get ten times more flavor?
It was a lightbulb moment.
A moment I just so happened to have in the middle of the day when I was hours and hours away from dinner.

Part of my brain is always thinking about dinner options.

Another perk of roasting the chicken: you don't have to deal with that gross water left over from the boil.
Am I the only one that hates that stuff?

So, this chicken salad.
It's seriously delicious.
So much so that at one point I put away the crackers and just started eating it by the forkful.

You know, keeping it classy while Joe is out of town and all.

Things you'll need:

3 medium/large chicken cutlets, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4-1/2 cup sweet relish
1/4-1/2 cup light mayo
red grapes, halved
sea salt
black pepper

*Note: Relish and mayo measurements can be done to taste - I always just eyeball it and taste along the way!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Generously season chicken cutlets {front and back} with sea salt and black pepper.
Don't be shy!
The more you season now, the less you'll have to season later.
{I didn't have to add any salt or pepper to the fully assembled salad!}
Bake chicken for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through.

Using two forks, pull chicken apart.
Make the pieces as chunky or as thin as you like.
Chicken salad is all about personal preference.

Add diced celery.
Now would be a great time to add any other veggie you'd like too.
Diced onion, carrot's the limit.

Add mayo and relish.
I like to do this a little bit at a time.
You want just enough mayo to coat everything.
The relish is totally preference.
I love sweet pickles, so I use a ton {when Joe's not around, that is}.
If you hate pickles, leave them out altogether!

Add halved grapes.
This would also be the time to add some nuts if you wanted.
Chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts would all be good!

Toss together.
Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Enjoy on buttery crackers or toasted bread with lettuce!

I really don't think dinner can get any easier than a five ingredient chicken salad.
And the best part?
There's always leftovers for lunch the next day.

Call me crazy, but I think dishes like this almost taste better the second day when the flavors have had time to marry.

But that's just me.

How was your Monday?
I'm desperately trying to convince myself that I'm not getting sick.
Even though half my office has gotten sick in the past two weeks, so it definitely makes sense that I'd be next.
Come on immune system, you can do this!


  1. this looks seriously so delicious. I'm such a fan of chicken salad. I will have to try your recipe :)

    1. It turned out so great! If you make it, let me know what you think! :)

  2. I just made this. It is SO delicious, it really is all about how you cook the chicken.