Monday, July 21, 2014

Versatile and Simple Chicken Salad

I bought two roast chickens the day before yesterday because I was too tired to cook. There were four of us here and that's a lot of chicken!  So of course there was leftover chicken today and since all of us here favor the dark meat when it is hot, there were 2 whole chicken breasts waiting to be used.  And, when I have leftover chicken, I love to make chicken salad.  I like it simple - just chicken, celery, red onion and mayonnaise. During the summer, I get inspired to add some snipped Tarragon and I always add Lawry's Seasoned Salt. But, this is a versatile recipe - I have made it into a Curried Chicken Salad and have even added fruit, fresh or dried, red and yellow peppers and even nuts. Some people like to use 1/2 mayonnaise and 1/2 yogurt or sour cream. There are so many options!  Most people I know like their chicken salad as a great big sandwich.  I like to serve it with Rice Crackers so it's almost like a dip.  And if I'm going to have it for lunch, I serve a salad or I make a soup to go with it - made from the leftover roast chicken bones - of course. Any way you make chicken salad - it's delicious!

Versatile and Simple Chicken Salad

2 cups diced cooked chicken
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion or green onion
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I used Best Foods/Hellmans)
1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or just plain salt and pepper)
1 teaspoon fresh Tarragon, snipped into small pieces (or 1/2 teaspoon dried Tarragon)

Optional:  1/2 teaspoon crumbled Rosemary or  1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
Optional:  Cut up Apples or Halved Grapes
Optional:  Walnuts, Pecans, Raisins, Dried Cranberries
Optional:  Cut up Red or Yellow Peppers or Cucumbers

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with Crackers (I used Rice Crackers) or Toasted Bread

Five Element Analysis

Of course, the elemental makeup will change depending on what you put in, but for the basic Chicken Salad Recipe, the Chicken contributes the Wood Element and the celery adds even more. The Red Onion and herbs bring in the Metal Element along with the Mayonnaise.  The salad I served with it adds the Fire Element.  Dried fruit or peppers will contribute the Fire Element too. The walnuts and pecans would bring in the Water Element or serve it with soup. But, the Earth Element is still missing. Adding cucumbers might be an idea or serving it with a sweet dessert sounds even better to create a Five Element balance.

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