If there’s one thing I love in life (besides cupcakes. um, and peanut butter), it’s chicken salad. And this chicken salad gave me what may be the biggest revelation of my life (thus far): WHO NEEDS MAYONNAISE? I’ve been in love with Greek yogurt for a while now (Chobani, Oikos, etc.) but while I heard it could replace mayonnaise, I totally didn’t believe it. Like I’d ever make a chicken salad without mayonnaise. Ugh, gross. But then I spotted this recipe and immediately wanted to make it. And then I realized it used Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Huh. Well, I’ll give it a try anyway, I suppose. At least it will be a pretty looking salad, right?
Spring Chicken Salad (4-6 servings):
- 1/2 lb. small red-skinned potatoes, halved
- 2 T fresh chives, chopped
- 2 T fresh tarragon, chopped
- 2 T white wine vinegar
- 1/4 C low-fat plain Greek yogurt (I used NO fat)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 romaine hearts, torn
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded, 2 cups (or roast your own!)
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
- 4 radishes, cut into wedges (mine were tiny, so I used more)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
Believe it or not, I’ve never roasted a chicken before. I generally cook with chicken breast or maybe a rotisserie chicken on occasion. But last week, Chels and I randomly found ourselves in McKinnon’s in Davis Square and everything was sooo inexpensive (but don’t worry, it’s all fresh and super high-quality). I went a little wild buying meat and when I saw a 4.5 chicken for $3.50, I really couldn’t say no. I mean, could you say no to that?
Plus, hello I’ve attended Butterball University. I know like 12 ways to cook a turkey; surely I can cook a chicken. And really, anyone can do this. The chicken was “ready to cook” meaning there were no giblets or anything like that inside. All I had to do was rinse it in the sink, dry it, and put some olive oil on it with salt and pepper. I also put a lemon (cut in half) inside for some extra flavor. I probably would have added more herbs and stuff if I wasn’t planning on using it in an already flavorful chix salad.
Huh. I totally need a roasting pan.
Look how pretty it is!! I baked it at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 40 minutes… I took it out, stuck a thermometer in it, and made sure it was 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone).
When the chicken cools, shred it with your hands. I used mostly breast meat, so it was all nice white meat.
In the meantime, place the potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Season with salt, cover and boil until fork-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and cool.
Chop all the veggies! The radishes, pepper, and cucumber. The recipe actually said to use a “Kirby” cucumber, but I just used a regular one (I think Kirby cukes are just smaller?). Of course, you can add even more veggies or use whatever you like. I definitely would have added some celery, but I already eat a lot of it on a daily basis.
All these spring veggies make me so happy! And I have no idea why I don’t eat radishes more often. They’re seriously delicious. I snacked on some while I was cooking.
Throw the veggies in the bowl with the chicken. Tear up the lettuce and put it in the bowl too.
And make the dressing! Chop the tarragon and chives.
And then pulse them in a food processor (or blender) with the vinegar, yogurt, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 t pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and pulse to make a thick dressing.
It will thicken up. And look kind of like… mayonnaise!!
Toss everything together and add more salt and pepper if needed.
OMG doesn’t it look like there’s mayonnaise in this chicken salad?? And seriously? I ended up using no-fat Greek yogurt instead of low-fat, so I can’t even imagine what yogurt with a little fat in it would have been like!
I toasted up a slice of nice bread, but realized this salad is far too veggie-full to make a sandwich with. But let me just tell you right now– OMG best chicken salad ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.
And I will never make a chix salad with mayonnaise ever again. You could have fed me this and told me it was made with full-fat mayonnaise and I totally would have believed you. I do tend to be a little bit gullible, but even if I wasn’t I’d still believe you.
I’ve been living happily of the leftovers from this chicken salad and am totally considering making it again immediately right when it’s gone. This is perfect for a nice spring or summer day. And I dare you to serve it to someone you love and see if they can guess it’s not made with mayonnaise. Get back to me with your results.
Oh, and whenever I make a recipe from the Food Network, I read the comments to see what other people thought of the recipe and how they changed it. I got a HUGE laugh out of this comment: “‘Kirby’ cucumber? ‘Greek’ yogurt? And fresh tarragon? Please – can we have some recipes that call for ingredients that most people already have in their kitchens? Looks good until I read the list and then find that I do not have the ‘named’ ingredients and am not about to go to the store to find them and then use them maybe once in 6 months.”
Gosh, people are grumpy! a) You shouldn’t already have these ingredients in your kitchen because they’re all fresh, b) If you have them in your kitchen for 6 months, you’re in trouble, and c) If you don’t like the ingredients, improvise! Don’t hate on the recipe before even making it. Sheesh.
In conclusion, make this chicken salad, fall in love with it, and never use mayonnaise again. And substitute whatever ingredients you choose. Just don’t use mayonnaise instead of Greek yogurt.
Have you had any “food revelations” like my Greek yogurt/mayonnaise revelation??
Mix Bakery Giveaway Winner!
Congratulations to the winner of our Mix Bakery giveaway– It’s Elina from Healthy and Sane!! 1/2 dozen cupcakes delivered to you!! We’ll email you and put you in touch with Kelly from Mix, so you can figure out when you want those cupcakes delivered (are you going to wait for a special occasion or just eat the 1/2 dozen by yourself??). Enjoy!!