Since I’m not a fan of mayonnaise, I’ve never been fond of chicken salad. Well, that plus the unappetizing (to me!) mix of grapes, nuts, chicken, celery and dried fruit that dwell in said mayo. It wasn’t a recipe I grew up eating at home, and not one I find particularly delicious as an adult, either.
But it’s always there. At baby showers, bridal luncheons, the sandwich bar in the dining hall at work, on the deli menu and on a lot of colleagues’ plates. It seems like everyone eats it and many great women have their go-to recipe. And hey, I want in on the chicken salad, too!
Several months ago, after tasting a girlfriend’s curry version, I was determined to be able to say “I made chicken salad” or “My chicken salad recipe…” So, I took a portion of a whole-roasted bird, and whipped up what I believe is the ultimate summer chicken salad.
It’s fresh. It’s bright. It’s got flavor. It’s light and it’s versatile. And there is no mayo. Boom.
Before I share my recipe below, I have to tell you that I care about this recipe a whole lot. This mix is changing my world, and when I make it, I can’t stop eating it. I’ve said that I’m obsessed with it, and I think it’s true. It’s great on crackers, but even better in a buttery croissant or toasted ciabatta.
Further, I’ve had great success serving this recipe to crowds. We first shared it on New Years’ Eve where friends first asked for the recipe, one of which recently told me it was a big hit with a group she fed at a party. Last week, I made a big batch of it and made my kid brother taste it, only after I told him it would change his life. Thumbs up from the teenager.
Please make this! You will never host another luncheon the same way again, and your party menus might forever be better.
Like every one of my recipes, measurements are an estimate, there’s flexibility with ingredients and you should always taste and season to your liking. I use my own whole roasted chicken, but you can definitely make this with a store-bought rotisserie chicken as well!
*This recipe is perfect for entertaining in the heat of the summer. No mayo and lots of citrus makes it portable for your picnics and more!
1. In a small bowl, combine some lime juice with the red onion and set it aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine chicken and avocado. Start with one and depending on the size of it, you can always add more.
3. Add red onion/juice mixture to the chicken mixture, and stir well.
4. Season as needed with herbs, salt, pepper and lime juice.
5. Eat, enjoy life, and share!
Talk Back: Do you have a go-to chicken salad recipe? Share your secret ingredient in the comments!