This weekend we had some new neighbors that moved in beside us. Even though we have had a pretty busy couple of days, I kept thinking we needed to go introduce ourselves, and I knew I wanted to make something for them. Since I was short on time, I decided to take an idea from my mother in law and make some good ol chicken salad for them.
When we were moving into our house a couple of years ago, my MIL showed up with a loaf of bread and chicken salad, and it was simply perfect! It was so nice to have something to throw in the fridge that we could snack on or have for lunch while were in the unpacking/organizing process. Chicken salad also seems appropriate right now considering this super hot July we are having here in Tennessee.
I threw a pack of crackers in the bag and Voila, I’ve got an easy and thoughtful “welcome to the neighborhood” gift! This would also be a helpful gift for a new mom or someone recovering from a surgery or illness. Plus, you can double this recipe and have plenty leftover for your family as well, that’s a win-win in my book!
Classic Pecan Chicken Salad
- 2 lbs chicken breasts
- 1 cup halved green grapes
- 1 1/2 cups sliced celery
- 3/4 cups roughly chopped pecans, toasted*
- 3/4 cups mayo (light, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Fill a large pot half way full of water and bring to a boil. Place the chicken breasts into the boiling water. You may add seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper if desired to the water.
- Boil the chicken, covered, for 20-30 minutes depending on how big the breasts are. Remove from the water and allow the chicken to cool, and then shred it with your hands or using two forks.
- In a larger bowl, toss the chicken together with the grapes, celery, and pecans.
- In separate bowl whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, dijon, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and stir until the salad is completely coated.
*To toast the pecans, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until they begin to smell nutty.
Check out these Chicken Salad Melts we had last night for dinner with the remaining chicken salad. Place a few slices of bread on a sheet tray, scoop some chicken salad on each one, top each with a slice of cheese, and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees, top with a fresh tomato, and dinner is served!
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