Plated + Served: Simple Chicken Salad


One of Mama’s favorite things to do on a summer weeknight is to pack a cold supper and take it down to the beach. The crowds have gone for the day and its cooler… the perfect end to the day. And, let’s be honest…fewer kids!

I usually ask GP to throw on a few extra chicken breasts during his weekend grill-fests. That way I’ll have what I need to whip up a super-simple chicken salad for our beach picnics. Chicken salad is one of those recipes that really loves company. Have any leftover basil, mint, thyme or cilantro in the fridge? Chop it up and throw it in. Grapes… apples… cherries? Everyone’s welcome. Stir in some roasted almonds. Go through the shelves on your refrigerator door. Go crazy… throw in a little bit of chutney or a few jalapeños. That’ll keep it interesting.

You’ll have to adjust the amount of mayonnaise depending on how “wet” you want your salad. Hey, while you’re at it, why not make the mayo a little sexier, too? For one cup of mayo, add one-half teaspoon (or more) of chopped chipotle in adobo sauce for a deliciously smoky chicken salad. How about adding a teaspoon of curry powder? I love adding “Old Bays Seasoning” to the mayo… but be careful… if you do that, don’t add salt to the recipe. Go through your dried herbs and spices and get creative!

To round out the picnic, I usually cut up some fruit, throw it into a re-sealable bag, and make a quick salad. Put the dressing in something non-breakable. So easy… it ought to be illegal! We used to bring a bottle of wine, but lately I’ve been trying to cut back. I know… it’s like trying to scratch my ear with my elbow. But I’m trying!

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  1. Pingback: Mama's High Strung™ » Blog Archive » Plated + Served: “Help” Yourself to a Piece of Caramel Cake

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: