What can I say about chicken salad? It is super easy to make and tastes amazing. You can add all sorts of ingredients to chicken salad, but I am a fan of keeping it simple. When I lived and worked in Chicago I used to love getting lunch at Caffè Baci. The days we had this lunch catered in the office at the Board of Trade were extra awesome. Caffè Baci has a chicken salad to die for. Looking at their menu, they describe it as tender chicken in lightly spiced mayonnaise. I’ve literally spent years trying to figure out what that spice is in their mayo and have never been able to replicate it. If anyone knows, please give me a shout out. I would be forever indebted. I think this calls for some recon trips downtown to figure it out.
Anyway, the chicken salad I have concocted from my years of trying to recreate my dream salad combines sweet and salty. Dress this salad up however you’d like — add it to a good bread, put it over some salad greens, or just eat it plain. Whatever you choose, I promise it will be good. It makes for a great quick lunch, too. You can make it in large batches, but I usually end up making just enough for myself for lunch and here is how you can, too. It isn’t Baci, but it is pretty darn good.
Ingredients for one sandwich:
3/4 Cup of shredded, cooked chicken
1 Tbs mayo
1 squeeze of lemon juice
a pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 Cup of grapes, sliced in half
1 Tbs of nuts, toasted (pecans work well — I used almonds today)
I’m telling you, this couldn’t be more simple — just combine all of these ingredients and let them sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to marinate. You can eat this right away if you choose, but give it the time in the fridge if you can because it tastes even better.
* If you can’t find nuts that are already toasted, just sprinkle some in a saute pan and crank the heat up to medium. Keep a good watch on them, stirring them frequently and pour them in a bowl when they start turning golden or smelling nutty.
I sandwiched this salad in between a nice pretzel roll and added some baby spinach — ahh, the perfect lunch!