I adore a good chicken salad. Anywhere that I go--restaurant, deli, gourmet stores, friends homes, our local grocery--if they have chicken salad--I ALWAYS ask for a taste.
This recipe orignally--with several changes as it traveled to me--came from a Southern Living magazine. My friend Margo and I used to have lunches together (I worked for her son) the days she came in. We used to nibble and graze, eating little bits on lots of things. (every once in a while, we would "sneak out" and go up to Deli on Rye in Hudson and eat sandwiches that cause heart attacks and artery clogging (her weakness was a stacked reuben, mine a fried bologna with muenster cheese and onions on rye!) Our eat in favorites were things that we could put on crackers--dips, spreads, crab spread, cheese and even chicken salad.
Margo's recipe called for dried cranberries. Mine too, except the cranberries have been flavored with cherry! I did this by accident! I went to the grocery store to buy all the makings for her chicken salad, and was not paying attention to the package that I grabbed off the shelf. Did not realize it until I tasted it, and was like---eeewww...OOOOOHHHHHH....mmmmmmmmmmm.
I have never looked back. THIS is how I make chicken salad.
Kelley's Cherry Chicken Salad
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
3/4 to 1 cup of real mayonnaise (I always use Hellman's)
2/3 cup of Cherry Flavored Craisins
1/2 cup of chopped pecans, lightly toasted
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Lightly toast the pecan pieces either in the toaster oven, oven or in a skillet. Stand there while you do it, it takes just a minute or two and it can burn fast.
NOTE: you can use left over chicken (pictured above) OR canned chicken actually works very well in this salad--keep a few large cans in your pantry OR if you want it RIGHT NOW, run! run! to the store or Boston Market and buy yourself a rotisserie chicken, pull of all the skin and separate the chicken from the bone and cut up. (save those bones for soup stock!)
This is a one bowl mix. I put everything into a cereal bowl and mix it up.
One taste of MY Chicken Salad and you might be kicking those grape chicken salads you make right out to the curb! I only make it this was for me. (My hubby with onions and without the craisins!)