Chicken Salad – The Perfect Way To Use Up Leftover Roasted Chicken
Whether you roast your chicken yourself or you purchase a spit roasted whole chicken at the supermarket, there is usually some left over after the meal. There are so many ways to use the chicken that books have been written and probably web sites devoted to this subject.
One way I like to use up leftover roasted chicken is a simple chicken salad especially in the summer when it’s hot. I can’t give you a specific recipe because I don’t know exactly how much chicken we are talking about.
It’s different each time I make it. I also like to use “what’s on hand” ingredients that my family I enjoy most. You can do the same with your chicken salad.
In this recipe I used pumpkin seeds because I didn’t have any sesame seeds but you can use any kind of seeds or nuts you like. You often see chicken salad with walnuts but why not try pistachios?
I used Craisins because the seedless grapes I wanted to use were past their prime. For those of you unfamiliar with Craisins, they are dried cranberries produced by Ocean Spray.
I’m not sure but I think they have some added sweeteners added. No wonder my daughter loves them in her lunchbox. I could have used plain old raisins too. It’s more about what you like and what’s available.
I find the homemade mayonnaise is just more flavorful than any commercial mayo you can buy and is so easy to make yourself. The color is a pale yellow compared to the white mayo we are used to.
Of course you can use your own favorite commercial mayonnaise but I know if you make it from scratch yourself, you will be hooked.
Chicken Salad Recipe
- roasted chicken leftovers
- mayonnaise homemade if available
- 2 stalks celery
- pumpkin seeds
- fresh tarragon
- salt & pepper to taste
- Start by picking through the leftover chicken and picking off pieces of chicken. Using a paring knife, remove any small bones, cartilage or fat from the chicken. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and reserve.
- Make your homemade mayonnaise.
- Finely dice the celery stalks and get the rest of your ingredients ready. Be sure to finely chop the fresh tarragon which is so much better than dried tarragon in this recipe. The flavor of this herb ready gives a power boost of flavor.
- Combine the chicken pieces with celery, Craisins, pumpkin seeds and fresh tarragon.
- Mix in some of the homemade mayonnaise a little at a time. You want a nice balance of mayo to chicken salad. Just like dressing a salad, you don't want to overpower the rest of the ingredients with mayo. It is easier to add more mayo than removing it.
- Using a large spoon, turn the chicken salad over to combine all the ingredients. Don't over work it.
- Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.