Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cranberry and walnut chicken salad

I feel like chicken tonight this week!  I've got one more chicken recipe to share with you, and it's a tried and true classic: chicken salad.  If the curried chicken salad recipe was the rebellious, leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding teenager, this recipe is its clean-cut, all-American, jeans-and-polo-shirt-wearing older brother.

Reminds me of neighbors from my childhood -- can you guess which brother I had a major crush on?

I've made this chicken salad at least 20 times in recent years and keep returning to it, again and again.  Just. So. Delicious!  It's creamy and slightly sweet, loaded with all kinds of goodies and textures.  Crunchy celery, salty walnuts, and sweet and chewy cranberries.

I made and served this for our Mother's Day lunch, and, as expected, it was a hit with everyone.  Some enjoyed it sandwiched between fluffy potato rolls and others dolloped scoops onto iceberg lettuce leaves and wrapped and crunched their way through the meal.  I highly recommend both methods.

If macaroni and cheese is winter's ultimate comfort food, classic chicken salad is most certainly that of spring!

One year ago: Garlic salmon with tomato basil relish
Two years ago: Steak and goat cheese sandwiches
Three years ago: Ham apple and brie sandwich

Cranberry and Walnut Chicken Salad
(adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Gourmet)
-makes 6-8 servings

4 cups cubed (1/2 inch) cooked chicken
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup small diced celery
1 shallot, small diced
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar is fine, too)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 Tablespoon dried tarragon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy! Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.  (It gets even better overnight, I promise!)

1 comment:

  1. This chicken salad looks absolutely delicious and your pictures are amazing!
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