Cranberry, Pecan and Rosemary Chicken Salad

by Lori on October 5, 2010

You know those moments when you do something you said you wouldn’t do?  I’m having one of those moments right now.

Aside from the mayonnaise, salt and pepper, this is all you need.

When I thought about starting up this blog, I contemplated the kinds of recipes I would feature.  I knew I would showcase some vintage family recipes, a few everyday favorites and some special occasion desserts.  The one thing I really had trouble with was sandwiches.  Should I or shouldn’t I?  Admittedly, I’ve enjoyed many good sandwiches and I’ve got some tasty ones that I would love to share, but I wasn’t sure the world needed another person to extol the virtues of some kind of filling stuck between two pieces of bread.

So, I let the idea of sandwiches go.  I wasn’t completely happy with my decision.  Sandwiches are a big part of everyday life and there are so many options.  And what’s wrong with a good, substantial sandwich for dinner on a busy weeknight?  These were the thoughts that weighed on my mind.  Yet they weren’t enough to push me over the edge.

But every time I made this chicken salad, I continued to question my decision.  So here goes.

My favorite chicken salad on artisan squaw bread that I purchased at my local farmers market.

Cranberry, Pecan and Rosemary Chicken Salad
Makes filling for 2 sandwiches (or 2 salads if served over a bed of lettuce)

2 cups roasted chicken, shredded or diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon green onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup unsalted pecan halves, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, stems removed and finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Squaw bread

Heat some water in a sauce pan, tea kettle or in microwave.  Pour dried cranberries into small bowl and pour hot water over them.  Allow the cranberries to plump up for about 10 minutes.  Drain well.

Place chicken, cranberries, green onion, chopped pecans, rosemary, and mayonnaise into bowl.  Mix and season with salt and pepper.

Squaw bread is my bread of choice for this sandwich.

Notes:
– I have never made this chicken salad using measurements until now.  I usually just estimate, throw everything into a bowl and taste as I go along.
– The flavor of the chicken is best with roasted white and dark meat chicken.  Using boneless, skinless chicken is okay, but the flavor is better with roasted chicken.
– I chop the white and green parts of the green onion and then measure out what I need.
– Measure the pecans halves first and then chop.  I have also used unsalted sunflower seeds and when I do, I use less than 1/4 cup.
– Please don’t use dried rosemary ever.
– I am not a fan of any sandwich dripping with mayonnaise, so my measurement reflects that.  Adjust to your own taste.
– There are many, many chicken salad recipes floating around.  I have been influenced by a variety of different ones over the years.  However, this is where I have landed based on my own preferences. I do not claim to be the originator of this particular combination.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca October 12, 2010 at 1:29 am

Just wanted to let you know that I made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome!! :)

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Lemons and Lavender October 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Rebecca, Yay! I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for the feedback. It made my day!

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Ficticious Malicious October 15, 2010 at 5:57 am

Substitute the pecans with a fistful of tarragon, I make my chicken salad this exact same way. I got the idea from a starbucks sandwich and experimented until I got the recipe down. The trick is a pinch or so of sugar. But this way sounds good, and as soon as I can afford $6 for a small bag of pecans, I'll be trying it this way too. Om nom nom.

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