The chicken salad is a classic American meal that can be customized to appeal to to even the most discerning consumers. Chicken salad is usually made from pieces of chicken, mayonnaise and a variety of other ingredients used as binders. Other ingredients can be added to add texture and flavor, such as walnuts and celery. There is a wide range of traditional chicken salad, but most recipes consist of the same basic components. Families everywhere have added their own special touches to make it their own. In the south, people add diced apples, sweet pickles, and a dash of lemon juice for a sweet, salty taste. For a little extra power, people in Texas and New Mexico have been known to add jalapeños and a pinch of chili powder.
The good thing about chicken salad is that they can be easily duplicated and tripled in size without compromising the original taste of the recipe. There is a lot of space for creativity to suit different tastes. But first, master the basics and then move on to experimentation.
Chicken salads often taste better with roasted chicken. However, do not stop frying or using other cooking techniques for cooking your chicken. You can even use precooked chicken breast if you are pressed for time.
There are so many great ways to mix ingredients with the classic chicken salad to make it into a whole new meal. One simple change is to add bread and make it into a chicken salad sandwich. Read on for more exciting twists on an American classic:
Chicken Caesar salad
If Caesar dressing is your favorite, then you should try this chicken salad version. Simply add the Caesar salad dressing to the chicken and mix well. Combine the chicken with a tomato, lettuce and onion mixture. Complete the Caesar salad taste with bread crumbs or croutons and grated cheese. This classic take on chicken salad is a great recipe to bring to your next barbecue!
Spicy chicken salad
This is a warm salad, and can be eaten as a side dish or a light lunch. First, cook up some bacon with olive oil in a pan and put the bacon on the side when you’re done. Fry strips of chicken in the bacon fat and set aside once browned and cooked thoroughly. Place the sliced tomatoes, red and orange peppers and onions in a large bowl. Add some lettuce and cucumber strips and set aside. Add finely chopped pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil. Mix the chunks of chicken and bacon, and continue mixing to heat all the ingredients. With a slotted spoon, place the hot mixture over the salad and serve.
Asian chicken salad
Although there are many variations, typical features of most Asian chicken salad consist of chicken, lettuce, sesame oil, ginger and crispy chunks of fried noodles. Some versions also use bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, almonds, peanuts and mandarin slices. There are so many different ways to make it that you really can’t go wrong.
Light chicken salad
For a healthier and lighter version, use light mayonnaise and lots of onions, celery and herbs to taste. Some herbs that go well include thyme, parsley, garlic powder, black pepper and celery salt. Combine all ingredients together, add the cooked chicken, mix, put in the fridge to cool. This is a light and healthy dish that is very easy to prepare.
Curried chicken salad
This fantastic take on the classic chicken salad is from the Barefoot Contessa and tastes delicious! Create a tangy dressing to add to the classic chicken salad by combining mayonnaise, wine, chutney and curry powder. Add celery, scallions and raisins, mix well, and then refrigerate for a few hours so the flavors will blend together. Serve with cashews.