One of my favorite memories is the wonderful little teas, baby showers and bridal showers that my Mom would hostess. She always made the "fancy little things" that she thought that the girls would all love. And one of the things that everyone ADORED was this Cranberry Almond Poppyseed Chicken Salad.
She used it as a filling for her famous "Party Sandwich Loaf", which was a thing to behold. Five layers of bread sliced thing horizontally, with a different sandwich filling between each layer of bread - always a chicken salad, egg salad, deviled ham, and tuna salad combination. The entire loaf was then carefully "frosted" with cream cheese and decorated with fresh herbs. Sliced into vertical slices for serving, it was always a beautiful thing to behold! Although she used different recipes for chicken salad, this was one of our favorites - and we always hoped there would be leftovers!
I've tweaked the recipe slightly - I substitute cherry-infused craisins instead of dried cranberries, but you can use diced up fresh red grapes if you would prefer. The flavor on this is wonderful!
Whether you put this in a sandwich, scoop it onto crisp green garden greens, or serve it in pretty little finger sandwiches for garden teas, baby or bridal showers, this fabulous fresh chicken salad is ALWAYS a huge hit. Hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. PREPARE DRESSING: Combine all poppyseed 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.
Originally posted April 2013; revised and reposted May 2018.
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