One of the best uses for leftover chicken or turkey is the humble chicken salad. Now, I wasn't always a fan; in fact, since my experience for much of my youth was the chicken salad glop served in cafeterias or bad cafes, I really didn't care for it.
But, one year, I had an abundance of turkey after Thanksgiving. I had turkey coming out my ears! (Or so it felt.) I'd already made everything I could think of for leftovers and was scrounging around for another way to use up the leftovers. I found a recipe that sounded good, made it and promptly had it every day for lunch until my leftovers were good.
Unfortunately, I didn't write it down.
Fast-forward to last week. We had some leftover rotisserie chicken which we had bought to make some fast dinners and lunches. Our favorite local grocery uses our preferred brand of chickens for their rotisserie offerings and since the whole raw chickens were more expensive and we wanted dinner somewhat soonish, we picked one up.
After using about a quarter of the chicken, I had plenty of leftovers to use up. I started thinking about that recipe again and went through a bunch of the cookbooks I would have had at the time I made it the first time. I didn't find much that I remembered but I did find one that sounded just as good.
After I made it, I took a bite of my sandwich and closed my eyes in happiness. It might not be the same recipe but I think it's actually better. Crunchy, not too sweet and packed with flavor.. all I have to do now is arrange for more leftovers so I can have this again!
Chicken Salad [printable recipe]
Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light
Makes 2 large sandwiches
- 90 g | 3 oz diced, peeled apple
- 45 g | 1.5 oz chopped, toasted walnuts
- 120 g | 4 oz chopped, cooked chicken or turkey1
- 30 g | 1 oz chopped green onion
- 110 g | 4 oz light/low-fat sour cream
- 40 g | 1.5 oz light/low-cal mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika2
- 1/4 tsp cumin3
Combine everything in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
Serve on toasted bread, buns or wraps. A bit of rocket/arugula, spinach, mesclun or other spicy salad mix is a good addition.
- This is roughly equivalent to 1 breast of a 3 lb roasted chicken. White or dark meat is good here. You can also reduce the amount of chicken without drastically affecting taste, just add more apple.
- Or regular paprika. I like the flavor of smoked best.
- Try a spice blend like a tandoori mix which uses cumin, ginger, coriander, salt and paprika. If you do, don't add the smoked paprika and use 1/2 tsp of the mix.