Chicken salad, I assume, is a staple in most homes, gracing the lunch boxes and sack lunches of American children everywhere. I make it quite regularly in my own home, but I can’t recall eating it even once when I was a child. Tuna salad? Yes. I still mix canned tuna with a spoonful of mayo and slap it on bread. Yummmm. Although my taste has developed into something more sophisticated and I add fresh spinach and sliced tomatoes now. But chicken salad? Never. A recent conversation with my Mom revealed the answers to the mystery. She ate it all the time when she was a kid, but never made it for her own family because chicken salad for 8 people got to be kinda expensive. She confessed that now that is just her and my Dad at home, they eat it all the time! I was like, WHAT?!
The first time I had chicken salad was when I was in high school and I was eating lunch at a friends house. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure what the fuss was all about. Kinda tasteless, it was just shredded chicken and mayo with some chunks of celery in it. Blegh! Well, no more people! Shake off the boring chicken salad of your youth and embrace flavor! Step out of the mold and make something sassy! That is what I did! I just started mixing different flavors together and about a zillion batches later-voila! Now, this is what I throw together when, like the other night, I have leftover rotisserie chicken that needs to be eaten. In fact, in the summer, when those roasted chickens from the deli go on sale, I buy one just to make this chicken salad.
Be creative when you eat this! When tomatoes are in season, slice off the top, scoop out the inside and fill it with this salad. Wow! So good! Pile it on top of spring mix, fill a croissant, or (our favorite) add grapes and wrap it up in a whole grain tortilla. Sometimes for lunch, I just put the bowl in the middle of the table and we scoop up bites with whole grain crackers. And if you really want to, go ahead and add diced celery. I won’t look.
I always make this on the fly, no measuring or specific amounts. Feel free to improvise too.
3-4 c cooked chicken, shredded or chunked
1/2 c light sour cream
1/2 c canola mayo
(equal parts is what you are going for-add more or less mayo and sr cream depending on if you like your salad super creamy or more dry)
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 T capers, drained
Grapes, halved, optional
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.