Searching for the best chicken salad? Search no longer…………
This past weekend we had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a milestone in our family. Our son, Nick, recently received a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech University. We are so proud of him and his sweet wife, Lindsay; it’s been a challenging, arduous and demanding journey they’ve been on for the past few years. They work together as such a great team and we’ve loved seeing them grow in their love and support for each other despite living on a student-style shoestring. Here’s a HUGE hats off to both of you!! We’re so excited to see where God will lead you next!
We had a graduation party for Nick and invited family and a few of their friends on Sunday evening. Lindsay and I had fun cooking together; one of the most delicious things we made was an herb and lemony chicken salad. Lindsay made a fantastic homemade mayonnaise that seemed to take this already yummy salad right over the top. She had it whipped up long before I could have run to the store for a more expensive and less tasty product. Without further ado, I am turning this post over to Lindsay to explain a bit more about what I call – The Best Chicken Salad – Ever!
One of our favorite treats for lunch is chicken salad from our favorite bakery in Blacksburg. We love picking it up on the way to a picnic and every now and then Nick surprises me with it at work. Each day they have a different flavor and we love all of them. While not terribly expensive, eating out does add up so one day I became determined to recreate the chicken salad at home. I knew one secret is that they use rotisserie chicken, which you can buy at the grocery store. It’s delicious and easy! I also knew they probably used homemade mayonnaise. Mayonnaise only takes a few minutes to make and its so much better than the store bought version. Plus I always have eggs and oil on hand to whip some up.
This past weekend Chris threw a graduation party for Nick and we worked on recreating the chicken salad together. We used roasted, bone-in chicken breasts and tons of fresh herbs. It was delicious served on homemade focaccia ( focaccia Alle Herbé).
The Best Chicken Salad – Ever!
1 rotisserie chicken or 4 bone-in, skin on roasted chicken breasts** – meat shredded (use your fingers or two forks)
1 cup mayonnaise*
2 stalks celery finely diced
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice- I used parsley, basil, and thyme
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
Combine chicken with enough mayonnaise to moisten (according to taste). Fold in the celery, scallions and herbs. Season with salt and lots of pepper.
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard (or dijon mustard)
pinch of sugar
juice of half a lemon
1 cup canola oil
In a glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and other ingredients (except the oil). Starting very slowly (just a drop at a time) whisk the oil into the egg yolk mixture. Once an emulsion forms you can increase the oil to a thin stream. Continue whisking in the oil until it is all incorporated. It can be refrigerated up to one week. Enjoy!
Adapted from Alton Brown
** For roasted chicken breasts, place 4 large bone-in, skin-on breasts on a foil lined sheet pan, brush with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes or until meat thermometer in thickest meaty area registers 160˚. Cool to room temperature, remove the skin and bones and shred if you are making chicken salad. This can be done 1-2 days ahead.