There used to be a chain restaurant called Paradise Cafe here that had the very best chicken salad – chocked full of walnuts, cranberries and other crunch. And they gave you a glorious chocolate chip cookie with every sandwich. It was my favorite and was within walking distance of my office when I worked in Boulder – which was dangerous. The restaurant – or at least any of the franchises that were in my neck of the woods – has closed down, and I’ve had lots of cravings for that fabulous salad. I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a chicken salad that used pecans, and it turned out to be one of those Pinterest links that goes to nowhere, so I invented my own based on lots of different recipes and it absolutely satisfies my craving.
Every two weeks, I roast a whole chicken. It’s super easy, and makes me feel like a very accomplished homemaker even though the reality is that I just throw it in the oven and it’s done. But whatever, a girl should know how to roast a chicken – it seems impressive. On roast chicken making night, we love that crispy skin and chicken, but we always kind of hem and haw about the leftovers. So this is now my go-to use for the leftovers (I’ve also used the leftovers to make grilled pineapple barbeque chicken quesadillas, and those are delicious, too).
Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
Leftover Roast Chicken Meat – skin removed and cut into small, easy to eat pieces (*sometimes I just throw all the ingredients into my blender and get a really fine chicken salad – like the one pictured above, other times I chop with a knife. Just depends on
how lazy I’m feeling what kind of mood I’m in).
1/2 cup Mayo or Plain Greek Yogurt (Get creative here – I like to do half and half, Mr. B likes a mix of Yogurt and Ranch dressing, you can use more or less depending on how “dressed” you like your chicken salad or if you’re using more chicken, up your mayo or yogurt)
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Squeeze of Honey
Handful of Crasins
Handful of walnuts
4 Celery Stalks, chopped into bite size pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix everything together, refrigerate for a couple hours and enjoy. We usually eat ours over a big bed of lettuce, but it’s delicious as a sandwich, too.