Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad... with Sweet Potato Chips

There are about a million different ways to make chicken salad.  At the end of the day, it really comes down to your own tastes and how you are going to serve it.  Some people bake their chicken and then dice it.  Others (like me) take the easy way out and use rotisserie chicken.  It adds great flavor and the chicken is always juicy.  Some prefer it without fruit and nuts and others like both.  Some serve it on bread and others serve it on crackers.  I’m sure you get the point by now :)

I make my chicken salad with shallots, cranberry, and walnuts.  I choose shallots because they give the salad a bit of a garlic flavor and a mild onion flavor.  The dried cranberries allow the chicken salad to last longer in the fridge as opposed to grapes.  However, I have used grapes before and I could go either way.  The walnuts add a textural element along with the celery that comes in most chicken salad recipes.  The last thing that puts my version over the top is the lemon juice.  Lemon juice adds a little bit of a zing and brightens up the overall dish.  I can’t wait for you to try this!

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

1c mayo
1 tsp mustard
juice from half of a lemon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1/8 c chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 rotisserie chicken, breast and leg meat removed and chopped (~2.5c)
¼ c cranberries
¼ c chopped walnuts
1 celery rib, chopped into small pieces
Sliced whole grain bread (optional)
Leaf lettuce (optional)

Whisk together mayo, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, shallot, parsley, and thyme in a large bowl.  Add chicken, cranberries, walnuts, and celery to dressing.  Stir well to combine.

Optional: To make sandwiches, lightly toast 2 slices of whole grain bread.  Place chicken salad in between slices and top with lettuce. 

…with Sweet Potato Chips

I think the American “way” is to have chips with salad.  I decided to fry up my own sweet potato chips for this weekend lunch I had.  To make these, use a mandolin to get very thin slices of sweet potato.  Try the thinnest setting or one level thicker. 

Heat vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add the sweet potato slices to the frying oil.  No need to coat with anything!  Once the chips are brown and crispy, remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with kosher salt immediately after removing from the oil.

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