Mendocino Chicken Salad
This is a delicious smoked chicken salad with almonds and fresh basil. Serve it over lettuce or on a sandwich.
This is a delicious smoked chicken salad with almonds and fresh basil. Serve it over lettuce or on a sandwich.
Fantabulous. Realize that EVERYTHING in this salad plays its part -- the smokiness of the chicken, the sweet grape juice-bombs, and the crunchiness of the almonds and celery, to name a few. I could not find smoked chicken, so I threw four half-chicken breasts, two teaspoons of hickory liquid smoke (spice or bbq sauce aisle), some olive oil, and fresh ground pepper in a ziploc bag overnight, rubbing and turning once or twice, and then simply baked them in the morning (don't overcook!). Also, added things to the bowl in a certain way (not sure how much it mattered, but I didn't want the grapes crushed): chicken, onion, celery, then almonds. Then I lightly salted and peppered, tossing. Then the grapes, mayo and basil, gently. Tripled the batch, brought it to an Easter picnic, and people RAVED. My only tip? Increase the chicken by about half, and make it all the night before -- I'm sure the flavors will blend even better after some hours in the fridge. Kristine, will you marry me? :) Thank you for this recipe!Read More
Fantabulous. Realize that EVERYTHING in this salad plays its part -- the smokiness of the chicken, the sweet grape juice-bombs, and the crunchiness of the almonds and celery, to name a few. I could not find smoked chicken, so I threw four half-chicken breasts, two teaspoons of hickory liquid smoke (spice or bbq sauce aisle), some olive oil, and fresh ground pepper in a ziploc bag overnight, rubbing and turning once or twice, and then simply baked them in the morning (don't overcook!). Also, added things to the bowl in a certain way (not sure how much it mattered, but I didn't want the grapes crushed): chicken, onion, celery, then almonds. Then I lightly salted and peppered, tossing. Then the grapes, mayo and basil, gently. Tripled the batch, brought it to an Easter picnic, and people RAVED. My only tip? Increase the chicken by about half, and make it all the night before -- I'm sure the flavors will blend even better after some hours in the fridge. Kristine, will you marry me? :) Thank you for this recipe!
I loved this salad! I couldn't find a package of smoked chicken breast, so I substituted a 6 oz. pkg. of grilled chicken. However, although the packaged chicken was convenient, I found that it was extremely salty and this detracted from the salad. Next time I'll grill or poach chicken myself and probably use a little more than 6 oz. This is definitely a keeper recipe!
DELICIOUS!! The supermarket didn't have smoked chicken so I substituted smoked turkey breast. I toasted my almonds before adding them to the mix. I added a few sprinkles of black pepper. I fixed it the night before our picnic to let the flavors blend. It was wonderful. We had it on croissants and in wraps at the picnic. The next day I had it on a cheese bagel. Tastes good any way you eat it.
I loved this recipe! I was looking for a party appetizer and decided to make this and serve it in bread bowls made in muffin tins. They all disappeared at the party. Thanks
This is a great change in the weekly lunch routine. Very chunky and crunchy. I skipped the almonds as my boyfriend is allergic, & used the rotisserie chicken. He loves it! Thanks for the great recipe.
This is my favorite chicken salad recipe to date. My uncle and I finished off the whole bowl in less than an hour. I did make a few changes due to what I had on hand. I used a rotisserie chicken, dried basil instead of fresh and pecans instead of almonds. I also added a handful of dried cherries, golden raisins, craisins and dried apricots. I served this over shredded romaine along with cheese, crackers and dill pickles. This was absolutely wonderful and I'm already planning on passing it along to others. Thanks so much for submitting.
This salad turned out to be a true delicacy. In the past I have made a similar one that called for tarragon, tarragon vinegar, and just plain cooked turkey, but this one is better. I think it is because of the smoked meat (I used Jennie-O sun-dried tomato Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast). Since I had 1-1/2 cups of grapes, I increased the turkey to 7 oz. and the onion to 3/4 cup. Cut the mayo to 1/2 cup of low-fat, and mixed 1 Tbs. of dried basil (didn't have any fresh) into it before I added it to the salad. Next time I would use either coarsely chopped almonds or pecans because the slivered almonds got lost somewhere. The salad was a little dry so I added a sprinkle of chicken broth to wet it up. VERY, VERY, VERY GOOD. Do try this salad.
I made this recipe on a whim using the "whatever I have in my kitchen" attitude. That being said, I used chicken thighs and legs that I simmered with onion, fresh basil (but I didn't have as much as was called for), pecans, Vidalia onion, red grapes (again, I only had a small handful left in the fridge), mayo and S&P. I had no celery. It still turned out just great! I think the basil gives it such wonderful flavor, and the sweetness of the grapes is just awesome with the crunch of the nuts. It would be just perfect with the smoked chicken, I think. I can't wait to try it again! Thanks a bunch!
I followed the receipe at it was absolute yummy. I added a little bit of pepper, otherwise I wouldn't change a thing. Will make it again for sure.
Good Good Good. Made this recipe for a special Chrismas lunch for a friend. She loved it. My tweaks for this recipe...I would like to try a sprinkling of dill weed...and I found that when I mounded the salad on top of the lettuces, that there wasn't really "dressing" for the lettuce. What came to mind is the next time, I think I'll tear the lettuces (or buy the prepackaged "three lettuce"bag)...into a bowl, and swish a bit of sweet sesame dressing (like the kind you'd use for spinach salad) on it. Not alot, just a little, to give the lettuce just a twinge of sweet taste to compliment the salad. I too used smoked turkey from the deli. Worked great.
I love this recipe! I usually use a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and adjust ingredients accordingly (minus celery bc I'm not that fond of it). This chicken salad is good alone or in a sandwich. Something about the basil and smoky-ness of the chicken is soooo good! I've shared this with other people, and everyone agrees that this is a winner! I will continue to make this over and over again!
Vibrant, refreshing and an unusual cast of flavors that totally "work" Thanks!
This was very good. I added a few ingredients that that I had tasted in chicken and grape salad before that I believe took it to a new level; a little honey and some poppy seeds. Delicious.
I mixed this up today to take to an amusement park -- my dietary needs make it very hard to eat out in a place like that. This was perfect -- delicious, filling, and portable; I didn't feel deprived at all. Thanks for the recipe.
Always a winner when I make this, it's sooo yummy!
I loved this! very fresh, feel good kind of chicken salad, reminds me a lot of the panara bread napa chicken salad! I did alter some thing... I used 2 bags of chicken instead of 1, upped to 2 cups of red grapes (halved), 3/4 cup of the almonds, 1 1/2 cup miracle whip, and left the rest of the ingredients the same, but also added salt, pepper, ground mustard, and sesame seeds. I put it on bread with a couple slices of tomato and BAM! Home made gourmet chicken salad! This is just what I needed!
I couldn't believe how good this was! And I'm not really even a fan of chicken salad. The very thing I was a little wary of, the grapes, made all the difference! Thank you so much for sharing!
Total flavor explosion! If you make this without a smoky flavor you are missing a key element. I too couldn't find smoked chicken so I did a marinade with some liguid smoke the first time. Second time I just added 1 tsp. liquid smoke to the mayo (M Whip) before adding to the chicken. Yesterday I smoked my own chicken (used boneless skinless thighs) AND added the liquid smoke to the mayo. Perfect rolled up in a leaf of lettuce.
I made this last night and it was a big hit! My husband (who have never ate chicken salad before) couldn't get enough. I think he ate about 4 croissant sandwiches. It's so easy to make and so yummy! They mayo was just right and creamy. The grapes, almonds, and celery gave it a nice crunch. I used rotisserie chicken and it was perfect. I will definetly be making this again and again! Thanks for the awesome recipe!
I have been making chicken salad almost like this for years. However instead of almonds I use pecans. After all I'm from Texas. We don't know there are any other kind of nuts.
This was OK--nothing really fantastic. Didn't go over that well in our house, but we ate it anyway. Still looking for that perfect chicken salad.
Delicious! I used oregano for seasoning since I had leftover oregano chicken, and it turned out delicious. Served as a wrap with sun dried tomato bread.
Pretty tasty. I used a whole roasted chicken from Walmart and didn't have grapes so I substituted dried cherries. This was very good. Decided we liked this better served alone instead of on bread or a pita. The basil is a must!
I've tried several chicken salad recipes and this one is by far the best. Very tasty :)
I thought this was really good but I am not a big basil fan so instead used fresh tarragon. Yummy, very distinctive and enjoyed this very much.
Very tasty. I used leftover grilled chicken breast and toasted walnuts.
I made this without the celery because I didn't have any on hand...and I didn't miss it! This is the best chicken salad I have ever had. I also took the advice of the first reviewer and just marinaded some chicken breasts in liquid smoke, olive oil, a bit of mesquite seasoning and a little bit of water. Toasted the almonds because I like the flavor better that way, eyeballed the basil and the mayo. I hope that I have enough for lunches for the rest of the week. YUM. Thanks, Kristine!
a great chicken salad, especially with home-smoked chicken. freshly chopped red pepper is good in this also.
This is absolutely delicious. I bought a whole chicken and cooked it with celery tops and onion as opposed to using the smoked chicken. The extra crunch of the almonds, the sweet tang of the grapes, and the flavor of the basil makes this salad exquisite. I served it with warm whole wheat pita bread.
This is Excellent! I used leftover chicken. I served it on top of French Baguette split. My Family loved it. Thank you for posting .
This was super as written but I always tweak my recipes to my families taste. I omitted celery and used granny smith and chopped dried cranberries for the sweetness. Added 1 fresh jalapeno and toasted the almonds, doubled the chicken as others suggested. The basil added a unique flavor and it all works together so well. This is my new potluck or picnic dish!
I loved the taste of this. I brought it to a book group and everyone liked the flabor. I served it with wide, flat romaine lettuce so everyone made wraps. It was a fun thing to bring to a potluck.
I've made this a few times now and it's always a big hit! The fresh basil and the smoked chicken make it unique. It tastes great on biscuits too. Instead of buying a package of smoken chicken breast, you can use smoked turkey breast from the deli and just asked them to slice it thick.
Excellent flavor! Be sure not to skimp on the basil, as it brings out all of the flavors.
This is a sure-fire "home run" salad! It got raves from the whole family and is delicious plain or served with fresh croissants. Very easy preparation...thanks!
Excellent! The fresh basil really makes this salad. Tastes great on toasted sour dough bread.
this is the best chicken salad I have ever had. I omitted the grapes but i think next time i will keep them. I am not a big fan of chicken salad but i couldn't get enough. My husband also loved it and he is a huge fan. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Really delicious! I used a rotisserie chicken and substituted scalions for red onions. I served it piled on home-made bread for dinner. Husband and teenage son couldn't stop praising. Very easy to make and leftovers are wonderful on a bagel the next day. Try it!
Wonderful! Thank you for sharing- so easy and easy to add to it for more variety. I really enjoy it in a honey/wheat pita.
This is what chicken salad should taste! A truly perfect taste. However, I prefer a slightly different texture. I grated 1/2 of the chicken with a cheese grater and cubed the rest.
Loved at Ladies Luncheon! I served this recipe on croissants to 75 ladies at our church. A Big Hit! Used Sam's Club canned chicken, miracle whip, and dried basil. Still had great flavor. Made night before to let flavors blend. Excellent recipe!
This is sooo easy and quick to make. I used a rotisserie chicken as well. Very delicious - even picky eaters will love this! Our favorite!
My husband absolutely raved over this recipe. I will definitely put this in my favorite box!
WoOoWza!! So tasty!! I always my whole life made the same old same old Chicken Salad (mayo, onion, sweet relish, and boiled egg), but recently tried some with grapes and nuts and wanted to find my own to try at home. I went with this recipe, and on the note of another reviewer I added dried cherries. WOW! I followed everything to a T and it tastes great, my grocery store was out of fresh basil so I used dry and this recipe is FANTASTIC just as it is, how wonderful that you shared it! Also on a another note, I used one of those chopper things and prep time was a breeze, even for the almonds!!
This recipe was quite good though it took me a little longer because I used regular chicken breasts and had to cook them first. I also had to blanch the almonds myself. I marinated the chicken in Italian dressing overnight and used a little different proportions. I doubled everything except the celery and almonds and used one cup of canola mayonnaise. Great with baby spinach! Next time I may try red peppers in place of some or all of the celery.
Man, that was terrible.
These flavors are fantastic together! However, it takes a little more than 15 minutes to complete this recipe. I also doubled the recipe since I could only find a WHOLE smoked chicken and then I added a little pepper. It's even better the second day!
By far the best chicken salad I've had! Didn't put in the almonds, my preference, but it didn't make any difference. Do not make this without the fresh basil. Thanks for the great recipe.
FAB salad! I could not find smoked chicken in the grocery store, so I subbed smoked turkey from the deli dept. instead. It turned out great. I've made this several times, I also subbed the basil with dried Italian seasoning and the results were very good. Try it, you will love this.
I made this recently for a big lunch at work and it went over great with everyone. I used 13 oz cans white meat chicken to further simplify the recipe and added garlic salt, otherwise followed the recipe as printed. For this event,I wrapped sandwiches ahead of time with leaf lettuce and used croissants. The consistency of the chicken works well on sandwiches or served over lettuce. So easy to make! A keeper!!
YUMMY!!!! I made these to take on a picinic, and served them in sun dried tomato-basil tortilla's, and they were FANTASTIC!
This is the best chicken salad I have ever tasted!I used red seedless grapes & added alittle extra chicken. Easy to prepare & definitely a keeper!
I followed the advice of chefsingledad cuz I had chicken breast and liquid smoke on hand, worked great! Just shredded it after it cooled. Maybe it's me but I felt like grape halves were too big so I sliced them horizontily. I used yellow onion cuz it's what I had. Does it make that much of a difference? I have a thing against celery so I used celery seed. And dried basil and sliced almonds... it's what I had. 1/2 cup of mayo was enough! AMAZING!
It was just okay. Next time I make it I will leave out the red onion that's all I could taste.
The kids LOVED this recipe and so did we! Easy and yummy!
This was a big hit on a girls weekend away. I did change it a bit since I couldn't find any smoked chicken. I used regular chicken but added diced smoked gouda cheese. Everyone raved and wanted more.
Wonderful! I too used rotserie chicken, added slivered waterchestnuts, and served the salad in lettuce leave wraps.
This was a wonderful recipe. A great combination of flavors and textures. I toasted the almonds and used rotissieri chicken -- other than that followed the recipe exactly. I served it at my sister's wedding shower where it was very well received.
I used plain cooked chicken, and it was still yummy. Also, avoid using dried basil. Fresh is a little more work, but it really adds something to the flavor.
I made this recipe not knowing what to expect. I used canned chicken, quartered the grapes, and used white onion. It was AMAZING! The best chicken salad sandwiches I have ever tasted. I think the only thing I would recommend changing is maybe to toast the almonds and use a little less than a full cup.
I didn't cube the chicken. I processed it to "crumbs" and added the rest of the ingredients. This is so delicious. It's everything I could want in chicken salad, and I make it everytime I have leftover chicken. The grapes, the basil... it all goes together fabulously. Thank you! I love it!
This was so delicious! My husband and I loved it! The smoked chicken and basil really do make it different. I didn't change a thing with this recipe . . . and it is definitely a keeper! Thanks!
Excellent! Since I'm enjoying the heck out of my Stovetop Kettle Smoker, I was in need of something to do with my apple smoked chicken. This recipe is terrific. PS - I highly recommend a stove top smoker ;o)
I made this for a camping trip this past summer and it was a big hit! I made double the amount needed and they ate it all up. Actually I made it the day before and stored it in an ice box - it was still very juicy and fresh for lunch the next day. People commented that it was unlike any chicken salad they tasted before and few asked for "the secret ingredient", to which I insisted that there wasn't any. Very simple to make and very yummy!
This was good, but I am still looking for the perfect chicken salad recipe. I used rotisserie chicken which had a great flavor, and the fresh basil really gave the salad a unique taste. But I felt as if the salad was still a little bland, and I could not figure out what it was missing.
YUM - love this recipe!
We substitued the roast chicken from the deli for the smoked chicken and served on whole wheat pita bread. It was awesome.
My son Aaron rated this a 5. I agree the basil was a nice touch. we didnt add the almonds. I put mine in a wrap with avacodo we plan to picnic with the rest tonight. It was easy to make and the store bought ready cooked chicken makes it fast
Could not find a smoked chicken breast (will keep my eyes open to find one though and use it!) but used a rotissere chicken as another reviewer suggested. It was delicious! Perfect chicken salad and very filling!!
OMYGOSH! This is fabulous! Used canned chicken and this is awesome! great for noncookers.
Very good. I used smoked turkey from the deli, having it sliced thick as previously suggested. Would definately make this again.
Didn't add grapes only b/c I didn't have any. Added a little shake of McCormick Chicken Seasoning. Awesome! Will make again!!
This was delicious! The basil was a different taste that was fantatic!
A huge hit every time I make it. I've also added Parmesan or mozzarella and placed it in the panini maker. Delicious every time!
Great recipe! Very easy and tasty. I think the basil leaves set this recipe apart from other chicken salad recipes.....YUM!
I've made this dish many times and have given the recipe to lots of family and friends. Lately I've been adding chunk pineapple for a new twist and may like this version even better. It's hard to decide... :D
This is a really great recipe. I buy chicken breasts and cook them myself instead of buying the pre-cooked stuff and cut down on the mayonnaise since I don't like a lot of mayo. I also add a bit of dijon mustard to give it some extra flavor. The grapes and almonds really make this awesome though.
I love this recipe, the grapes and basil are a great combination.
HOLY COW! This was great, what a fantastic, surprising chicken salad! Yum!!
I made this chicken salad for our office potluck and it was all gone within minutes. The only thing I did differently is I added spring onions to the red simply because I love the taste of spring onions and it was very flavorful. Thanks for sharing!
I did not have celery which may have given this recipe 5 stars; however it was still very good. I also used canned chicken, no smoked chicken on hand and in a time crunch. It was still worth the effort and still very good!
Great chicken salad! I just used canned chicken and light mayo, and it's still wonderful! The only other thing I changed was that I didn't put quite as much onion as what the recipe called for. This will be a regular in our house! Great to make up and keep in the fridge for a quick sandwich when you're sick of ham and turkey!
I was surprised with how highly rated this chicken salad was. It was good but needed some help with spices. I did not have the almonds so that was left out. But I put everything else in and it was too bland for my liking so..... I added a 1/2 of peas. I cut down on the mayo and added a bit of lemon juice to make it more saucy. Added 21 non- salt seasoning from Trader Joes and all this gave it a bit more zip.
Oh my goodness this is AMAZING! We grill/smoke chicken quarters and breasts for large groups a few times a year, and I usually end up with several leftover pieces of chicken with that yummy smoky flavor. Since I found this recipe, that is what I do with the chicken. The dark meat tastes great in this salad too. I have used sweet TX 1015 onions instead of the red sometimes and pecans instead of the almonds. Depends on what's on hand!
great flavor. i subbed the tortilla for a rice paper wrap and it turned out like a shrimp roll . just wet the rice paper for 2 seconds and lay on cutting board, top with lettice leaf and then salad and roll. great for lunch or snack
OMG! A party in my mouth! I didn’t alter one thing. You can taste each ingredient and the grapes are a nice surprise! I will definitely be making this again. A great Summer dish to make ahead to bring camping, bbq’s and potlucks! An impressive chicken salad!
I really like this salad. I got married in Mendocino at the Mendocino Hotel many years ago and this was the salad that we served for our guests at a wedding brunch. I made it exactly as in the recipe and it brought back lovely memories. It is such a nice combination of tastes and perfect for a summer day.
My family loves this, the basil is what makes it so good.
My whole family loved this meal! I think I put too many onions in it otherwise super tasty super easy
Modified slightly. Bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery and shredded the 6oz needed. Also added a 1/2 a jalapeno pepper, finely diced. It's a very good chicken salad.
An easy recipe and a keeper. The basil is a must; no other spice is needed!
Loved it. Served it rolled up in a tortilla!
less nuts, more grapes, 1/2 & 1/2 mayo & sour cream
This was a perfect wrap filling. I did switch the almonds for walnuts and as i couldn't find smoked chicken at the store I roasted some. Also a little tip that we always do to reduce calories for this type of salad, switch the mayo for unflavored plain greek yogurt. It changes the flavor a bit but with all the flavor in this salad already it wasn't missed.
The guys loved this, a keeper for sure! I used Dan's smoked chicken breast and basil from the garden. served on Blanched, peeled tomato "flower" but like it better on lettuce wrap or crossant.
I would reduce the onion slightly, as it slightly overpowered the rest of the recipe. The basil adds a very unique flavor. Slivered almonds were ungodly expensive, so I bought sliced ones instead and it turned out great! Also used reduced fat black pepper mayo and love it!