Rachel Getting Hungry: The Best Chicken Salad Ever

by Rachel on September 9, 2010

A few weeks ago, my boss introduced me to Central Market, the grocery store near our office that puts Whole Foods to pretentious, overpriced shame. When she gets lunch there, she always gets the same chicken salad and it looks always looks delicious. I had been fantasizing about it for weeks, but I also wanted to try my hand at a healthier version. Finally, once I had some leftover chicken from my chicken and dumplings recipe, I knew it was time to strike.

The thing that’s great about chicken salad is that it’s so easy to customize. So I took the original idea — Central Market’s has dried apricots, which I liked — but then I made some substitutions and added a few more ingredients for texture and flavor and…I’m pretty proud of the results!

This is how we do it…

Combine 6-8 ounces 2 percent or full-fat Greek yogurt, two cups of chopped cooked chicken (use canned or leftovers!), a half-cup of chopped celery, and a quarter-cup each of chopped dried nectarines, chopped green onions, and slivered almonds. Then salt and pepper it till you’re satisfied and serve it with something carby and some fresh crudites.

Um, WHAT!?

Best chicken salad ever! It made a huge amount too; I had only planned on getting two servings out of it, but I actually got three really large servings. The green onions and almonds were rather inspired — don’t skip them! The onions add a little zing and the almonds add texture and are really good for you!

Make it. And then make everyone at the office jealous.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 erin m.@well-in-la September 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Looks delicious! Will have to try… I have a rotisserie chicken waiting for a makeover. Your post reminded me to dig up a Thai-style chicken salad recipe I clipped from a fitness mag :)

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2 Kim September 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

That looks so good, but I’m a little leery about chicken + fruit. Do you have any ideas for other dried fruit that might work besides nectarines and apricots, or if it wold be good without it?

I want to try this NOW but I’m waiting until chicken breasts go on sale. =(

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3 Rachel September 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Mmmm chicken + fruit is what makes chicken salad, well, chicken salad! The sweetness balances out the savory. You can really use anything…I think grapes and dried cranberries are the most popular!

And try a rotisserie chicken! You get way more meat than chicken breasts and they are usually cheaper — like $6 for a whole chicken!

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4 Christie {Honoring Health} September 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Yum! I like making it with apples, walnuts and dried cranberries. So good!

I need some leftover chicken, asap.

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5 Gules September 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

yummmmmmmmmmm! I love anything “salad”, Chicken, egg, tuna. Definitely going to try this! Thanks

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6 Summer September 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Oh, yum. I love the use of yogurt, being as I don’t do mayo. I’ve been wanting to move it from the tuna arena over to chicken salad; this recipe will do just perfectly.

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7 jessica September 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I make mine with quinoa as a “filler,” it makes the salad really, uh, filling. And grapes and celery and scallions and ff feta. Delicious!

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8 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I would have never thought about that combo, but it sounds absolutely wonderful :)

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9 Danielle September 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Chicken salad is soo much better with fruit!

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10 Meghan September 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm

I *love* Central Market! I’m living abroad for a few months right now, which is obviously awesome, but CM is one of the top three things I miss about home. Go there on a Saturday afternoon and eat a sandwich and listen to the live music. :)

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11 Carolyn September 9, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Central Market does beat Whole Food’s prices by far! This looks so good.

I was just curious, why do you use full-fat or 2% Greek yogurt instead of the fat-free kind?

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12 Rachel September 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Well to be perfectly honest, I think fat-free Greek yogurt tastes pretty vile. It’s just missing something…and that something is fat! Fat is satisfying and helps me eat less but feel better.

These days, I choose higher-fat products and I’m much healthier and happier than I was when I was doing low-fat, fat-free everything. This post kind of sums up my views on it! http://www.rachelwilkerson.com/2010/04/19/the-big-fat-deal/

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13 Amber September 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm

So I just made this but instead of using necarines I used dried mango…I also tossed in a little bit of curry powder. YUM! Thanks for the inspiration!

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14 Lin July 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Great recipe, tried and loved. Also added grapes to the mix. It is actually Better than Central Market’s! Thanks!

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