Do you have one dish that you make that everyone seems to ask you for the recipe? I have a few of them, but one of the most popular is my chicken salad. I must admit, it's pretty flippin' good.
If you're one of those people that like nuts and apples and celery and grapes and all kinds of crunchy things in your chicken salad, this might not be for you. I detest crunchy things in chicken salad, so this is crunch free, but it's still packed full of flavor!
OK, first things first, you need shredded chicken. A bunch of it. I usually throw a bunch of chicken breasts in the crock pot with some water and spices and let it cook on low for 8 hours or so. When it's cooked, I shred it up with a few forks and stick it in the fridge til it's cold.
When the chicken is cold, gather up the gang ... 2 bunches of green onions, a bag of dried cherries, mayo, ranch dressing, a ranch packet, garlic powder, salt (I use Lawry's), and pepper. I didn't decide to document this whole process til after I chopped my onions, so that's where our photo journey begins!
I usually use 2 bunches of onions, but if you want the flavor to be a little less punchy, you can you just one. Then throw in a few handfuls of dried cherries. I use the whole bag, but you can use less if you'd like. One of my favorite things about this dish is just how pretty it is. The green onions and the dark red cherries are so pretty!
Then it's time for some seasonings. OK friends, here's the deal -- I'm a really big "little of this, little of that" kinda cook. I make all of my food "to taste". So when people ask for recipes, I do my very very best to measure things. I really do. But I'm just going to stress to you that you have to taste it and add more spices as necessary!
So here's what you want to dump into the chicken mix: the whole ranch packet, 2 tsp garlic powder (yes, it's going to be garlicky, because that's how I like it!), 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Then mix it all up!
Now for the mushy part. Plop in some mayo. Depending on how much chicken you used (I used about 4 pounds for this batch), you'll want to use about 1-2 cups of mayo. I used 1.5 cups for this one. Start on the small side - you can always add more. Mix it up!
Next, add some ranch dressing - about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Then mix, mix, mix. Add more mayo or ranch, depending on whether you like your chicken salad on the dry side or on the mushy side. I'm in the middle of the road on this one.
And then, ohhhhhhh!! I forgot the parm!!! I like to add some parmesan cheese. Because I love cheese. It adds nice flavor. It can also rescue you a bit if you put too much mayo or ranch in and the texture is too goopy for you. Honestly, just
sprinkle dump some in.
Mix it up, and then most importantly, TASTE IT! This is when you'll add more seasonings, mayo, ranch, etc. When you're happy with the flavor, stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
When it's nice and chilly, it's time to eat! This chicken salad is so darn versatile. You can make a sandwich, make a lettuce wrap, put it on a cracker (Triscuits are my fave), or just eat it plain out of a bowl. Seriously, so delish.
This is one of my go-to party dishes. It's super easy to mix up a batch and pair with some croissants. But it's also a family fave. I frequently make a batch for lunches during the week. And when we lived in Florida, I liked to make this for my Mom when she visited because she LOVES it. Seriously, give it a try folks. You won't be disappointed!!
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