The Farmer’s Chicken Salad

Sweet, salty, tangy, and crunchy all combine in this version of the ever popular chicken salad. Good ingredients layer themselves to create a salad good enough to eat with a spoon!

Since I was making stock for soup, I went ahead and cooked some chicken for my salad with my quick stock, which is an easy way to cook chicken. I’ve also braised the bird in wine and butter or just butter to brown and cook.

Dice or chip about a cup and a half of the chicken you’ve removed from the stock. I like a few onions, sweet and translucent, for added measure. That is my first layer of flavor for my salad recipe - Sweetness from the apples, tangy from the mayo, and salty buttered pecans make up the rest.

For the apples, I use Pink Lady or Fuji, but any of your favorite apples will work. If you’re feeling like twist on tradition, use green and red pears – this twist is delicious and just as easy. When pears and apples are in season, you can’t go wrong with either!

A couple tablespoons of butter, good butter, melted in the skillet on the stove is the spot to start for the pecans. I used a heaping cup of halved pecans, tossing and coating them in the melted butter, and then salting them with sea salt. Finishing them off in the oven just to toast them a bit is fine, but watch them every second…this whole process happens fast and the pecans, like all other nuts, have a good dose of natural oil and can burn quickly. Spring Break tanning comes to mind here!

Mix all your layers together and then add about a half cup of mayo, good mayo like Hellman’s. This just brings the ingredients together, binding the trio into a salad.

Serve with sour cream muffins, on soft bread, or with crackers. Elaborate on the dish if you wish, but the simplicity of this salad, hitting each portion of your palette, is just dandy.

This recipe will make 6-8 servings and is a great hit for a luncheon, to graze on for a couple days, or as a simple supper…trust me; I’ve used it for all three!

Recipe as follows...

*Cook’s note…this recipe easily doubles. Grapes are a great garnish and complement as well.

· 2 cups of cooked chicken, chipped or diced…cook the chicken in my quick stock or just brown it in butter or oil with salt and pepper. 3-4 chicken boneless breasts.

· About 1 ½-2 cups or so of cored and chopped apples…6-8 ish depending on their size.

· Half a cup of mayo…good mayo

· 1 cup of buttered and salted pecan halves...if you use salted butter, then don’t use much sea salt.

· Sea salt to taste on the pecans

Mix the Chicken, Apples, and pecans together and then bring it all together with the mayo…mix well and serve!