Special of the day: A Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love

29 May Special of the day: A Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad

Stir together a super simple chicken salad with three basic ingredients, and be poised to present three different delightfully delicious lunch or dinner options just by adding a few flavorful accoutrements. Divide one batch of the super simple chicken salad recipe into thirds, and you’re well on your way!  Any of the jazzed-up chicken salad recipes can be enjoyed as a sandwich, as a wrap, or on a bed of lightly dressed greens as a salad for a luncheon.  Talk about versatility!

Buying canned cooked chicken is a surefire shortcut that will save you time and cleanup in the kitchen, and all other ingredients called for in the three recipes require little more than chopping before throwing in the mix. Except for the pasta for the Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Salad, that is, that you’ll have to toss in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, but how hard is that?

Of course, the sky’s the limit as far as doctoring up the super simple chicken salad recipe. As I was dreaming up renditions, I thought a barbecue chicken salad with barbecue sauce, cubed smoked Gouda and red onions would be fun for summer, as would an Asian stir-fry-inspired version with blanched sugar snap peas and water chestnuts rolled up in a rice paper summer roll and dipped in sweet chili oil. Ah, but the possibilities are endless…

Ease into summer with this week’s Special of the day: A Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love with recipes for Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Salad, Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Rosemary Chicken Wraps. Enjoy!

Recipe development and food photography by Sydne George.

A Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love

Make the dressing:

1 cup real mayonnaise

Juice of ½ lemon

½ tsp. salt

Whisk together basic dressing ingredients and then stir in:

4 10-ounce cans premium chicken breast until well mixed.

*Divide chicken salad in three equal parts, if you want to make all three recipes.

Then, let the fun begin!

(Each of the following recipes uses 1/3 of the above Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love recipe as a base.)

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Salad

(serves 6)

1 ½ cups rotini pasta, cooked in salted boiling water until al dente (about 7 minutes)

1/3 recipe of the Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love

½ cup julienne cut sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained

2.25 can sliced ripe olives

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place 1/3 of the Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked pasta, sundried tomatoes, olives, basil and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.

Serve Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Salad atop baby arugula lightly tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with additional fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese shreds, if desired. Enjoy!

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches

(Makes four sandwiches)

1/3 recipe of the Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love

2 tsp. red curry paste (Asian foods aisle)

½ cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

8 slices cinnamon raisin bread

Place 1/3 of the Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love in a large mixing bowl. Add red curry paste, chopped peanuts and green onions and stir to combine thoroughly. Divide Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich filling among four pieces of cinnamon raisin bread and top with additional four slices of raisin bread to make sandwiches. Slice in half diagonally and skewer with frilly toothpick to secure. Enjoy!

Rosemary Chicken Wraps with Grapes, Walnuts and Apples

Rosemary Chicken Wraps

(makes four wraps)

1/3 recipe of the Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love

1 cup green grapes, cut in half

1 Gala apple, cut in small pieces

½ cup walnuts

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

½ tsp. dried rosemary leaves

4 spinach tortillas

Place 1/3 of the Super Simple Chicken Salad to Love in a large mixing bowl. Add grapes, apples, walnuts, pepper and rosemary and stir to combine thoroughly. Divide Rosemary Chicken filling among 4 tortillas. Roll tightly. Place seam-side down on cutting board and slice diagonally. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs, if desired. Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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