My Chicken salad is really an old classic which makes chicken lovers happy every time. While there are so many popular variations of chicken salad with curry sauces, broccoli, raisins, or even grapes, I still love to stay with my classic recipe. why? because I don't need to put up a big show when my main star can be a superstar!
I can not emphasis enough, the importance of using a good quality chicken for this salad as well as the best mayonnaise you can find. So on that note, back to chicken, let's avoid boiling, simmering, steaming, poaching and focus on a solid, hearty, good chicken. We need a roasted chicken either as a whole or in pieces or one rotisserie chicken.
1 rotisserie chicken
3 cups celery, diced in 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups scallions, chopped thinly
1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely
1/4 cup dill, chopped finely
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
For the Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp zesty lemon & pepper seasoning salt (made by McCormick, sold at Costco)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Dressing
Whisk everything together until smooth and set aside. Keep your dressing in refrigerator if preparing it for more than one hour in advance.
With clean hands, break down the chicken to manageable pieces, remove the skin, debone, trim the excess fat, and clean the veins. Don't use the wings and cartilage texture parts either.
Transfer the clean chicken on to a cutting board, and chop them into 3/4-inch cubes. Meanwhile, place almonds in a medium size teflon frying pan and toast them over medium heat until fragrant and lightly golden. Watch them carefully and toss them by shaking the pan. Midway through toasting add the sesame seeds if you haven't bought them already toasted.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with the chopped celeries, scallions, parsley, dill, toasted almonds, sesame seeds and the dressing. Toss every thing together gently until well mixed. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and serve at room temperature.
- Cashew is another delicious nut to be substituted with almonds if you prefer. If you do, coarsely chop them.
- You may save the wings and the bones along with some dark meat parts to prepare chicken stock later.
- The entire ingredients of this salad can be prepared and chopped a day or two in advance including the chicken and the dressing.
- Debone the chicken before it gets cold or refrigerated, it makes it much easier.