Chicken Salad is such a simple thing that I so frequently overlook. It always resurfaces when the weather gets warmer and I start thinking about patio lunches with my friends and family. You know the daydream where we’re all dressed like a Vineyard Vines catalog (lol at the thought of John wearing Vineyard Vines…if you know my husband, you know), we have fabulous drinks in crystalware that I don’t mind taking outside and I won’t have to wash later. Anyways, of course there would be fabulous finger sandwiches with the finest of toppings – finest of all, this chicken salad. It’s that good.
I’ve always loved chicken salad and could never seem to get the consistency of my chicken to be just right. It was always too dry or big, or too tough somehow even though it was smothered in a delightful dressing.
Enter Sharon Knight, her daughter Jennifer is one of my best friends and before she left me to move across the country and do amazing things, she always raved about her mom’s chicken salad. Jennifer had the same problem. The consistency wasn’t right. When her mom visited she learned that her mom boils the chicken for about two hours. Yes, two hours sounds like a long time, but when a Southern Woman tells you to boil your chicken for two hours before making it into salad, you do it.
Although I don’t know Sharon’s fabulous secret family recipe, her chicken trick has transformed my chicken salad recipe forever. Let’s dig in to this recipe my instagram followers have been dying to get their hands on.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup mayo (I use Chosen Foods – no soy to be found in there!)
- 1/8 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and ground mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup red grapes, halved
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Lettuce wraps / bread / crackers / croissants
- In a medium saucepan cover chicken breasts with water so the tops are covered. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and allow chicken to boil, covered, for two hours. Yes, really! Two hours, you don’t know Miss Sharon, but I do. She wouldn’t steer you wrong.
- Allow chicken to cool before shredding with a fork or food processor. (If you’re toasting your almonds as you go, now is a good time to take out a skillet and toss the slivered almonds in it to toast until they’re lightly browned.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, add mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, honey, and lemon juice. Whisk together until you’re left with a smooth dressing.
- Add shredded chicken, grapes, and almonds to the mixing bowl. Toss to coat – I like to use my tiny tongs to incorporate everything but a wooden spoon works well too!
- Refrigerate or serve directly. This recipe is even better after it’s had time for the flavors to chill together!
This recipe is perfect for meal prep, luncheons – precisely as I listed above with only the epitome of class, and summer days. Add this chicken salad to a lettuce wrap, as I have here, or stick it in a container to take on the go and eat on crackers. If you’re operating at your classiest level and not gluten free, this also goes perfectly on a croissant. (Side note – if you ARE gluten free and you’ve found a good gf croissant, help a girl out! I need ya!)
Be sure to share this recipe with a friend who needs it! Tag me @bethannsbites on Instagram or use the #biteswithbeth so I can see that you’ve made it! There’s literally no bigger form of flattery to me than people making my recipes!! Wishing you sunny skies and delicious eats. ❤️Beth