As I’ve mentioned before, the wife doesn’t like hard-boiled eggs. Since the standard Southern recipe for chicken salad is swimming in chopped eggs and mustard, I’ve had to develop another recipe. This one comes out so creamy and mild that we usually eat it on crackers like a dip instead of spread over white bread.
Creamy Chicken Salad
- 3 chicken breasts, shredded and chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4-1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, depending on how thick you like it
- 3 stalks finely diced celery
- 2 finely diced, medium-sized shallots
- 1 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
- 3/4-1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on how much cream you use
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
There’s not much to this recipe. I usually make it as a way to get rid of leftover chicken. I use Duke’s Mayonnaise. It’s a local brand that has an acidic, almost lemony tang that works well in dressings/salads.
If you’re making it from scratch, just poach three chicken breasts in a 375° oven in just enough chicken stock to mostly submerge them, flipping once during the cooking process. While the chicken is cooking, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat and shake the pan every so often to keep them from burning. Next, dice the celery, shallot, chives, and parsley and toss them into a mixing bowl. When the pine nuts are a little browned, toss them into the bowl as well.
When the chicken is finished cooking, shred the breasts with two forks in the baking pan. The shredded chicken will soak up most of the stock, adding flavor to the finished dish. I usually let it sit until it’s cool, then I coarsely chop the shreds so that the chicken pieces are as small as the rest of the ingredients. Once the ingredients in the bowl have completely cooled, add the heavy cream and mayonnaise and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and serve chilled.