Whoever thought about putting all these ingredients in chicken salad? Yet it was delicious beyond words. Hubby wanted to know when I would make this winner of a meal again. He knows that to keep up with my blog posts, we don’t dine on a lot of repeats. He wanted to be sure this got filed in my “favorite-est” section.
This novel idea was featured in a recent Southern Living article that gave four makeovers to the staple of chicken salad. I intend to prepare as many of these four as I can.
This fruity version called for grapes, celery, orange segments, and fresh pineapple. The dressing consisted (oh joy!) of ingredients I already had on hand—orange marmalade, raspberry blush vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno, and olive oil. Toasted pecans went on top.
The magazine pictured serving it over a bed of spinach, but I just dished it up plain. It didn’t last very long; that attests to its popularity.
Mixed Fruit Chicken Salad
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
2 cups seedless red and green grapes, halved
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained (I used fresh orange segments)
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple (or 1 8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 cup orange marmalade (I used sugar-free)
1/3 cup white balsamic-raspberry blush vinegar
1 medium-sized jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow pan bake pecans in a single layer for 6 to 7 minutes or until pecans are toasted and fragrant; stir halfway through. In a large bowl toss together chicken and next 5 ingredients. To make vinaigrette, combine the last five ingredients. Toss to coat salad. Sprinkle salad with pecans; serve immediately. Makes 7 1/2 cups salad. (Source: Southern Living May 2012)