With warmer weather just around the corner, many consumers are turning to lighter meals in anticipation of shedding winter clothes. Some of the less-filling lunches and dinners my family loves include anything made with white meat chicken. Not only does chicken have a welcoming savory flavor, it is an economical protein source.
Not to dismiss our love of chicken wings and fried chicken (they are still favorites), it is common to find one of several chicken salad recipes being made in our kitchen.
But don’t let the term “salad” confuse you. Chicken salad can be many things, including but certainly not limited to, a bowl of spring greens topped with fried chicken tenders. “Chicken salads” are much more than that.
Think “Chicken Salad Sandwich.” Who hasn’t used a perfectly-seasoned chicken salad as a sandwich filling, be it on sliced bread or a crusty bun?
You may not be as familiar with “Hot Chicken Salad” but it is a true front-runner with our friends and family and is always a party favorite.
Of course, as a blogger, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include two more conventional chicken salad recipes that serve as the main meal: “Chicken Poppy Seed Salad” and a “Chinese Chicken Salad.”
All four of these chicken salad recipes have an undeniable combination of flavors, including the very popular “umami.” In each of these recipes, the umami flavor is contributed by the chicken in combination with other ingredients.
So as warmer weather approaches, be sure to stock up on fresh or frozen chicken breasts so there will be very little reason why you can’t try one of these recipes.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
- 1 large can chicken drained of any broth or 2 cups of cooked, cut-up chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1-2 stalks celery chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/8 tsp. MSG
- dash salt
- dash pepper
- dash garlic powder
- bread of choice for sandwiches
Put chicken in a bowl and use a fork to shred it up (if using canned chicken).
Add the rest of the ingredients. If necessary, add additional mayonnaise or seasoning to taste.
Chill well. Serve on bread of your choice as a sandwich or use as a dip with crackers.
Note: This chicken salad can be made a day or two ahead of time.
Photo credit: by Lara604 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/3352191845/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Hot Chicken Salad
- 3 cups cooked chicken diced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cups celery finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. grated onion
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds toasted
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. MSG
- 1 tsp. tarragon
- 1 cup crushed potato chips
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Mix together all ingredients except potato chips and cheese.
Place mixture in 11 x 7 x 1-inch baking dish; spread evenly.
Combine the potato chips and cheese; sprinkle evenly over meat mixture.
Bake at 450°F for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately.
Chicken Poppy Seed Salad
- 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 heads lettuce
- 6 bunches green onions
- 1 large package sliced almonds
- 2 packages Chinese rice noodles
- 1/8 cup poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. MSG
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup oil
Boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes; cool, then shred into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place almond slices in single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake 4 minutes or until browned. Immediately remove from baking sheet and cool on paper towels.
Cut green onions on a diagonal into bite size pieces. Set aside. Tear lettuce into bite size pieces.
To make the dressing, blend together dressing ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl, then top salad with just enough dressing to moisten ingredients when tossed. Serve chilled.
Chinese Chicken Salad
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. MSG
- 1 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 3/4 cups salad oil
- 9 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 pkg. fresh wonton wrappers from produce dept.
- 3 tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- 1 small head lettuce shredded
- 1 bunch green onions chopped
Mix together all dressing ingredients until well-blended; set aside.
Fry wonton wrappers in sesame oil until crisp; drain, then crumble.
Toss the shredded chicken with 1/2 cup of the dressing and allow to chill.
Add chicken mixture to lettuce and onion and toss; add remaining dressing and toss again before serving.
For more delicious recipes, visit our Savory Cuisine Corner.
Photo credit: by Ralph Daily from Birmingham, United States (Velma’s Chicken Salad) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons