Back when we were doing Nutrisystem, one of the meals that Andy and I both actually really liked was the chicken salad. We'd open the foil pouch and spoon it onto 5-6 pieces of melba toast for a quick, finger-licking lunch. We're not doing Nutrisystem anymore (though my body has been hinting that maybe it's time to give it another run), but that doesn't mean I couldn't whip up some chicken salad of my own, does it?
I'd been waiting to try it until I happened to have leftover rotisserie chicken or something, but earlier this week I found myself with leftover chicken breasts, marinated in a garlic-herb sauce and grilled on the George Forman. I'd prepared them for Andy to eat for lunch at work, but with a trial going on at Fort McNair for a Sergeant Major who'd been accused of wearing unauthorized badges, he'd never gotten a chance to eat them.
I decided to use that chicken for chicken salad, since I knew I just wasn't going to eat it as-is. You'd be amazed at all the crazy chicken salad recipes floating around, with ingredients ranging from mango, to curry, to broccoli, to sunflower seed kernels, to feta cheese. All I wanted was something plain and simple. I chose a recipe that was highly-rated and seemed to be something more than just chicken + mayonnaise and got started.
Of course, I started off behind the curve because I didn't have celery, water chestnuts, or grapes (though I don't think I'd add the grapes even if I had them). Not much could be done about that, short of actually going to the store, and since that wasn't about to happen I didn't worry about it.
But I did have mayo (reduced fat), parsley, lemon juice, ground ginger, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
I debated a bit about whether or not to add diced onions. I've always hated the texture of raw onions, particularly when they are surprising little chunks in sauces or salads or anything. But I knew they'd add a lot of flavor to the chicken salad, and maybe a little texture would be good, given the fact that I was omitting the celery and water chestnuts. I decided to go for it, albeit mincing the onion into the smallest pieces that I could possibly make.
This was the creamy dressing with all that added in:
Stir in 4 strips of crumbled bacon...
and the diced chicken...
... and this is what you get.
I toasted some wheat bread and made a sandwich, melting a slice of provolone on top of the chicken salad for good measure, and enjoyed a very flavorful dinner.
In fact, I liked it so much that I immediately stuffed a pita with it to have for lunch the next day.
I didn't review this recipe on allrecipes.com because I'm pretty sure that marinating the chicken and skipping the water chestnuts, celery, and grapes changed the recipe pretty dramatically. That being said, I will definitely make it again. It's hard to say how much of the flavor is due to the marinade and how much was due to the dressing that I made, but either way, it worked. I ate a sandwich made with this every day until it was gone, and it's the kind of thing that is fantastic for quickly putting together a lunch while you're still trying to wake up in the morning and the coffee hasn't kicked in yet. And I am glad that I added the onion, though also glad that I made each piece tiny.
I will be posting the recipe in my TasteBook so if you feel inclined to try it yourself, please do (and let me know how it went!).