Chicken salad is a classic dish that can be enjoyed at every occasion. It can be served alone as a light, low-calorie lunch or with sandwiches, wraps, crackers and many other meals. One of the best things about the chicken salad is that you can play around with ingredients and seasoning to achieve the texture and flavor you want. Here are some handy tips on how to make chicken salad that is delicious and healthy too.
Choosing Chicken Salad Ingredients
The only main ingredient in chicken salad is, of course, chicken. All other ingredients are completely up to you. Some cooks prefer chicken salad with more fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, celery and spring onions. Others like it on the creamier side with mayonnaise and yoghurt. You can throw in a cup of walnuts or cashews for a nutty flavor, or chopped herbs for a fresher taste.
How to Make Chicken Salad at Home
Whether you a novice cook learning how to make chicken salad or a veteran in the kitchen, this is a simple but delectable recipe to try. It is a creamy salad that goes well with many foods and can be seasoned to your liking. The recipe also uses chicken breasts because they cook faster than other chicken pieces. To make the salad, you will need:
- 1 – ½ lbs. chicken breasts, boneless
- ¾ cup onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ¾ cup celery, chopped
- ½ cup yoghurt, preferably plain
- ½ cup mayonnaise, preferably light
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
The first step to learning how to make chicken salad is to cook the chicken properly. Fortunately, chicken breasts are very easy and fast to cook. You can bake, boil or poach it.
- Baking Chicken: to bake, pre-heat the oven to 450F and season the chicken breasts with your choice of spices. Brush the surfaces with a bit of olive oil and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping the pieces over midway. When cooked, breasts are white and should reach 165F on the meat thermometer.
- Boiling Chicken: another way to cook chicken is to boil it. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the chicken pieces. Boil at medium-high heat until the meat is white and tender.
- Poaching Chicken: Submerge chicken breasts in a large pot full of water and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat and allow to chicken to cook covered for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
When the chicken breasts are done, cut them into bite-sized chunks.
Place cut chicken pieces into a large bowl. Add onion, garlic, celery, yoghurt, mayonnaise, parsley and a dash of salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly, garnish with fresh thyme and serve.
How to Make Chicken Salad Cooking Tips
If you cannot get hold of chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs instead. You can also shred the chicken for softer texture. Some cooks add fruit like apples, mangoes and avocado for taste and nutritional value. Nuts and chutney are also delicious additions. Adding carrots and potato is also a good idea. Here is a recipe for chicken potato salad. You can use it as a reference and adjust the ingredients according to your liking.