Homemade Chicken Salad Recipe
I'm not a big sandwich either. That is, I'm not that into cold cut or meat sandwiches. It's really weird because if I go to a sandwich place or deli I am all over it, but at home it just doesn't take as great to me. But, let's all be honest here, eating a sandwich for lunch just makes sense sometimes. It's filling. It's easy. You can put some fun sides with it. One thing that I've learned that I really like is chicken salad. The only issue is there are 994 different recipes out there to make it. I like it from most restaurants, but I'm a big believer that you shouldn't buy lunch out every day. I also work from home so that just seems silly to me. But I have yet to find a premade chicken salad from a store that I actually like. Most of it has things I don't want in it. Like raisins. Who puts that stuff in chicken salad? Or the texture is off (yes, I'm that gal).
So many years ago I started making my own. It's actually quite easy and only takes a few simple ingredients. Some of which you might already have.
The best part about this recipe is the fact that it's so easy to alter it a little to suit your taste or to suit the taste of others.
What you'll need:
1 lb. chicken
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup Miracle Whip (not mayonnaise. If you use mayo it won't have the same flavor. Don't be thrown if you don't like Miracle Whip. I hate it. I mean, hate it. But you can't really taste the it once all is said and done. It just gives it nice flavoring.)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Cook the chicken. I usually put the chicken in the crockpot for a few hours. For me, this is easier because I can just let it go and then go on about my business. I also like that it keeps it nice and juicy. I sometimes cook it in a little chicken broth, but I don't think this is absolutely necessary. Just cook it until you can easily shred it with a fork.
You can also boil it in a pan on the stove or bake it in the oven. If you boil it, it's basically the same idea as the crock pot. Cook it until you can shred it. If you bake it, leave it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. It's not likely it will shred with this method, but you can chop it up and have the same awesome results.
2. Put chicken in a bowl and let it cool. I usually put it in the fridge for a bit after it's cooled some on its own. While that's happening you can chop up the onion and celery. I like it pretty fine because I like it to add some great flavor with only a little crunch and not huge chunks. However, you can chop it bigger if that suits your fancy. You can also use a food processor to chop everything. It's nice for the onions. I hate cutting up onions.
3. Once the chicken has fully cooled, add celery, onion, Miracle Whip, salt & pepper to chicken and mix until it's all coated. If you fear the chicken salad will be too wet you can add the Miracle Whip a little at a time until it looks good for you. Likewise, you can also add a bit more if it's too dry.
4. Put in a covered bowl in the fridge for about two hours. I generally like to let it set overnight that way all the flavors get nice and set in.
You can eat this on any kind of bread -- my favorite is rye. It's also great on crackers and mini croissants. But obviously you can put it on anything you like.