I had grand plans for today’s blog, but the evening moved on too quickly, and now I’m tuckered out. So instead of talking about deep, important matters, I’ll give you a recipe for a week’s worth of my go-to chicken salad recipe. No photos, since the kitchen is a complete mess. Maybe I’ll add some at a later date. (Don’t hold your breath.)
This is a very simple recipe that I improvised based on a trail meal our guide whipped up one day on my backpacking trip through the Grand Canyon last November. I replaced his precooked chicken-in-a-packet with fresh rotisserie chicken, and added some celery, since it just doesn’t feel like chicken salad without crunchy celery in each bite. The best thing about this salad is that it takes maybe 5 minutes to throw together, and one batch can feed a person at least five or six hearty meals. I serve it on a baked sweet potato, but it’s great with avocado or served on fresh greens.
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken (Pick this up pre-made at the grocery store. My local Rouse’s sells them for $5.99, which is far less than it costs to buy and cook my own from any store in walking distance.)*
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries*
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 – 1.5 cups mayonnaise (This depends entirely on how much chicken ended up coming off of the bone, as well as your preferred consistency. I like to stretch the ingredients a bit, so I err on the side of more, rather than less.)*
- 1 tbsp creole mustard
- 2 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp ground dill
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
The most time-consuming thing about this whole process is the first step: strip all of the chicken meat off of the bones. I tend to refrigerate the chicken overnight, and do this part when it’s already cold. I also like to save the skin and add it to the mix, as well, but I find that people either love chicken skin or hate it. Do as you please. The most important thing is to be very careful to strip out any and all bones, so you don’t kill anyone (like yourself) with your delicious chicken salad.
After you’ve separated out all of the meat, chop it up and put it in a big bowl (Make sure to choose a container that’s large enough to mix this whole mess up in just a bit – you don’t want mayo and chicken all over your kitchen because you were too lazy to wash the correctly sized bowl. Who do you think you are, me?)
Chop up the celery, cranberries, and walnuts. I like to rough chop the celery, and chop the cranberries and walnuts to be a bit more fine. You might like to keep similar consistencies throughout the dish – experiment and do what suits you best. Baby, you’re a star!
Throw the resulting bits into the bowl with the chicken. Add the mayo, mustard, dill, curry, cayenne (if you’re going spicy), and salt & pepper.
Mix it! Taste it! Make your own damn decisions! You need more mayo? Add that shit! Want more kick? Dash in some more cayenne! Suddenly remember you hate dill? That sounds like a personal problem to me. 🙂
*Note: If you’re paleo or sticking to the Whole30 diet, please make sure to research the items you’re buying and make sure there’s no added sugar or questionable preservatives in the chicken or cranberries. Additionally, you can find Whole30 compliant mayo commercially, but it’s difficult. If you’re being strict, here’s an easy Whole30 mayo recipe that tastes fabulous.
Today’s Weight: 193.6 Lbs.
Today’s Exercise: 17k steps, including running a mile straight (woot!), 15 minutes on the elliptical, and the Paleo Run workout on 8Fit.
Today’s Interactions: Called my cousin Amy, chatted with Theo at the gym, shared a video of my cat playing fetch with a coworker, and got invited to a concert with another coworker.