My new favorite chicken salad

My twist on ATK’s Classic Chicken Salad; it’s light & lemony & yummy

It’s from America’s Test Kitchen. Raise your hand if you’re surprised I fell in love with yet another ATK recipe. No? Nobody? Yeah, me either. It’s no secret I’m a rabid fan of America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks and TV shows. I just love that they devote their lives to perfecting recipes so I don’t have to.

So let’s get on to the chicken salad. This Classic Chicken Salad is adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (revised edition).

1 rotisserie chicken from your grocer’s deli, plain
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 ribs celery, chopped fine
3/4 cup mayonnaise (we prefer Hellman’s)
2 scallions, minced
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
kosher salt & cracked black pepper to taste

Bone and chop your rotisserie chicken and toss it in a mixing bowl.

Note: I prefer the plain chicken seasoned only with salt & pepper. I say that because I once mistakenly grabbed a barbecue seasoned chicken and it was a horrible choice for chicken salad. Don’t be like me; read the label.

Add the canola oil, celery, mayonnaise, scallions, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, parsley and a good pinch of salt & pepper. Give it a stir and allow it to sit for a few minutes, then come back and taste it. I found I liked this recipe with a little more lemon juice, so I added another tablespoon. It gives it a bright citrus zing. Instead of adding more juice, you could also throw in some zested lemon peel, since you’re using a fresh lemon anyway. What I’m saying here is that the lemon is my favorite part of this chicken salad. It’s refreshing. And zingy. I also add a pretty heavy pinch of fresh cracked black pepper, because that’s my thing. I loved cracked black pepper.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes before serving. It helps the flavors come together, and everyone is happier when they’re all getting along. To serve, simply scoop onto your favorite chicken salad vehicle. In my case, it’s a toasted bagel. I can also vouch for the fact that it’s delicious on whole wheat toast, saltine crackers and celery sticks.

If you’re feeling frisky, you can top it with a fresh sliced tomato and a nice crispy piece of romaine. I also highly recommend spicy sweet pickles and your favorite chips on the side so you can get in all the food groups – sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy. Wait, that’s wrong. There are five food groups. I totally left off chocolate! {slaps forehead} Have mercy… can you ever forgive me?

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12 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes

12 responses to “My new favorite chicken salad

  1. Teresa Silverthorn

    Forgiven. Wow, a bagel at lunch? Never thought about that before. Thanks! :)

    • Whoa… you’ve never had a bagel for lunch? It was my favorite mid-day meal in my youth. There was a deli near my high school and I always ordered a toasted egg bagel with butter and a schmear. Still one of my favorite treats. Also good on a toasted bagel for lunch: a turkey sandwich, peanut butter with banana & honey, or tuna salad. You just have to be careful of the hole in the middle of the bagel. It can become a chicken salad dispenser if you don’t plug that gap. :)

      • Teresa Silverthorn

        Wow, wow, wow. I have a bunch of bagels in the freezer. What a great idea :) Thanks so much. You have just expanded my lunch menu :)

  2. While I’d skip the scallions, the rest of it works for me on a whole wheat bagel. As for chocolate…painted on my kitchen wall is “Chocolate is an essential nutrient”.

  3. Love that you used a bagel to enjoy this lovely looking chicken salad on.

  4. Yum yum yum! I’ve been looking for a new chicken salad recipe. Mine is good, but the flavors don’t work for a crowd. ATK is simply the best. I’ve been watching all of their old episodes on Amazon, and I am always blown away by how perfect everything looks.

    • This one would be great for a crowd. The scallions are not overpowering, the celery gives great crunch, and the lemon just makes it sing. It’s so light and refreshing; perfect for summer gatherings.

  5. So I’ve referenced this recipe several times and even made a version of it last weekend, and yet I haven’t commented on it yet? What is the matter with me? Oh, right. I’m an air-head lately. ;) I have to say that ATK does it again. I thought I’d never, ever, ever like a chicken salad that wasn’t my daddy’s, but I was wrong. Mayo makkes me gag, so I don’t like “sloppy” salads, but this one was very balanced. I still cut the mayo back to 2/3 cup, but…and I can’t believe I’m saying this…I probably could have added the full amount and been fine. I also added a tablespoon of creole mustard to add a little heat, and served it with a pile of Wickles Pickles on top. Perfection!

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