There’s this awesome chicken salad that I buy in the deli at my local grocery store with red grapes that I looooove. I almost bought some the other day until I realized how much the price had gone up…$7.99 a pound! When I first started buying it a few years ago, it was in the $4 range. Guess a lot more people like it than I do. So, I went home & made it myself. And I made it better (and for less $) :-).
You see, when I spot boneless chicken breasts on sale at a good price, I snatch them up! I use chicken breasts to sometimes make my dog’s food too (doggy recipes coming soon!). Or, you could always use leftover chicken, or even buy a cooked rotisserie chicken & make a ton of this good stuff!
First of all, I have a confession to make. This recipe calls for toasted walnuts. For some freakin’ reason, I can’t toast walnuts. They burn almost every single time, no matter what my intentions are to look over them like a hawk. I forget about them in the oven…over & over. So please, don’t have a “blonde moment” like me & burn the walnuts instead of toasting. I’m good for it. Here’s a little example, just for kicks:
The “right” way to toast walnuts (for me) is to place them on parchment paper on a baking sheet in a single layer, and bake @ 350 degrees F for about 5-7 minutes. I guess you could be smart & set a timer to be sure you don’t burn them. I obviously didn’t do that (the first time).
Now that the walnuts are out of the way, you’ll need some cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts…I cut them into little cubes and sauteed my chicken breasts in olive oil until cooked thoroughly & no longer pink in the center (about 8 minutes for me).
Create the sweet dressing for the chicken salad by whisking mayo, sugar and poppy seeds in a small bowl:
Mix the dressing with the cooked chicken cubes (drained of juices), a small can of pineapple tidbits (drained), a small can of mandarin oranges (drained), 1/2 cup sliced red grapes and those lovely toasted (not charred) walnuts:
Serve with your favorite crackers, chips, wraps or pita pockets. Oh, & it’s even better the next day once the flavors have time to mingle! 🙂
- Approximately 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed & cooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- (1) 8 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
- (1) 8¼ ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
- ½ cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half
- ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chopped walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake 5-7 minutes until lightly browned & toasted.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, mayonnaise, & poppy seeds. Cover & refrigerate.
- Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute chicken breast cubes for approximately 8 minutes, or until cooked & no longer pink. Drain off juices & cool.
- In a large bowl, combine cooled cooked chicken, walnuts, mandarin oranges, grapes & pineapple.
- Add dressing and stir well to combine. Serve with your favorite crackers, chips, wraps or pita pockets.