Now that summer is in full swing, everyone seems to be a little bit pickier about eating at my house. There seems to be a lot more grazing and nibbling during the day, and everyone is eating just a little bit lighter and leaner.
Fresh and tender chicken salad is always a favorite during the hot summer months, and whether you put this deliciously tender chicken salad in a sandwich, scoop it onto crisp green garden greens, or serve in pretty little finger sandwiches for garden teas, baby or bridal showers, it is always a favorite!
I love how easy it is to make - whether I'm using extra grilled chicken breasts from a barbecue dinner, or the convenience of rotisserie chicken, I simply chop up the roasted chicken and store it in a ziploc bag in the fridge and its ready to go anytime you are! Fresh basil from the garden adds a perfect touch of fresh flavor. For this recipe I very much recommend that you use fresh basil - you won't be sorry!
The dressing mixes up in minutes, and is SO GOOD! To make this really simple, I use apricot preserves, which adds just a touch of sweetness to the sweet fresh basil flavor. If you have fresh apricots available, you can mince up a fresh one and add that as well. Fresh apricots are ALWAYS good!
Right before serving, I stir in sliced or slivered almonds. And then comes the best part - eating!
Perfect on salad greens, or spooned into fresh butter croissants, slider rolls, hearty sliced bread or wraps. And also pretty darn wonderful just on a spoon - bite after delicious bite!
Hope that you enjoy this long-time family favorite as much as we do!
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. PREPARE DRESSING: Combine all dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until blended.
2. PREPARE CHICKEN SALAD: Depending on how you plan to serve this, either finely shred or finely chop the chicken for sandwich filling, or coarsely shred or dice for serving as a salad on greens.
3. Add prepared chicken and remaining chicken salad ingredients EXCEPT for slivered almonds to salad dressing, and stir gently until evenly coated and combined.
4. Chill until ready to serve. Right before serving, stir in the slivered almonds – this will keep them from getting soggy.
YIELD: 4 cups (approximately 4 salad servings or 6-8 sandwiches)
· This Chicken Salad will loosen up after it is all mixed together – for maximum flavor, prepare and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. You can prepare the chicken and dressing ahead of time up to a day ahead of time – just mix them together an hour before serving and chill; add slivered almonds right before serving.
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