Old Fashioned Chicken Salad

Photo Credit: Syrup & Biscuits

Chicken salad recipes aren’t necessarily in vogue these days, but they deserve a comeback. This old fashioned chicken salad recipe reminds us of just how amazing chicken salad is and why it has stood the test of time. This version combines juicy shredded chicken with crunchy celery, pickle relish and mayonnaise, which gives it a combination of great texture as well as savoury, tangy taste. Jackie, the author of Syrup & Biscuits recipe blog, was inspired by her grandmother’s chicken salad recipe, which included all the same components minus the celery. Their method of simmering a whole chicken with flavorful ingredients, like fresh garlic cloves and a bay leaf, not only builds flavour into the chicken but also allows it to remain juicy in a way that you wouldn’t get from baked chicken breast. Plus, you will have made a homemade chicken stock as a by-product for all your future soup recipes.

This chicken salad recipe can be served in several ways. If desired, you could eat the chicken salad straight as is, or you can combine it with greens for an easy salad plate. Alternatively, you can sandwich it between good-quality bread and serve with soup for an easy meal. When it comes to chicken salad, this is one of the simplest versions, but it is also incredibly delicious. The original American version of a chicken salad recipe may have been served in 1883 in Wakefield, Rhode Island. This version would have included tarragon and grapes, and it became such a popular item it put chicken salad on the map. If desired, add you favourite ingredients for additional crunch and flavour, whether it is chopped herbs, like tarragon, or sweet fruit, like grapes. You could also incorporate dried cherries or crunchy chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans.

The best chicken recipes are the ones that allow the taste of the chicken to come through and also be incredibly juicy rather than dry. This chicken salad is wonderful because an entire chicken is simmered until cooked through and tender. The liquid protects the chicken from drying out. This also allows you to use a combination of the richer dark meat and chunkier white meat in one dish. If you prefer all white meat, you could poach chicken breasts, but the chicken salad won’t be nearly as full flavoured. Jackie calls for a five-pound chicken, which is sometimes hard to find in regular grocery stores. If you can’t find a chicken of that size, simply buy a smaller one and round up the difference with chicken pieces, like legs or thighs. If you are looking for healthy leftover chicken recipes because you have leftover roast chicken in the fridge, you could use that as well and skip the simmering step altogether. Chicken salad is the perfect dish for using up leftover chicken. You may have to scale back Jackie’s dressing recipe if you find you have a little less chicken to use up. If you make the entire amount of dressing, just eyeball the appropriate amount for the quantity of chicken you have, and save the rest for other salads through the week. This dressing would be equally delicious with tuna or egg as well.

No matter who you make this chicken salad for, it will be a delicious comfort meal for them. Make it for a light lunch or dinner, or prepare a large batch to keep in the fridge for kid’s school lunches through the week. Thank you to Jackie, the author of Syrup & Biscuits recipe blog, for sharing her old-fashioned chicken salad recipe with us.

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