The thing that goes into our mind when we say salad is that it’s a mixed vegetables or fruits served with some dressing or cream, and it is either served hot or cold. Also, when you are seen eating vegetable salad, one thought only comes in mind; you are on a die
Well, the word “salad” came from the Latin word “sal” or short for “salata” that means salted things. Food historians said that during the old times, raw vegetables were eaten with just a dressing of oil, vinegar and salt.
Today, many kinds of salad seem to have appeared in all cookbooks from around the globe, but one variation really stands out, and that is Chicken Salad.
Chicken salad is any salad with chicken as its main ingredient and a binder. Mostly is made from leftover chicken that is chopped and served with your choice of dressing. You can also add some herbs and vegetables to make it more flavorful.
For me, the best chicken salad is the one that I had whipped up myself when I was trying to go on a diet one season last year. It was just a mixture of boiled chicken, stripped and mixed with mayo and oyster sauce.
I added some lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber, then topped with minced ham or bacon. It was nothing that I expected, but it turned out to be a hit that even my family loved it. The taste of mayonnaise and oyster sauce complemented each other.
Different Variants of Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is considered an everyday table food. As generations passed, there some have been adventurous enough to create a whole lot of different flavor for this dish. Here are some various types of chicken salad that you could enjoy.
Classic Chicken Salad
It is an everyday dish that is always seen in most people’s dining tables. It is a perfect food to serve over lunch. It is made of lean chicken in mayo and lemon juice and sometimes, added with celery. You can also add some red and green onions to make it tastier.
Chicken Caesar Salad
It is a crunchy, colorful and refreshing variation of chicken salad, made with grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and zest of lemon and Caesar dressing. It’s perfect for lunch or for a light dinner.
Grilled Chicken Salad
For those who are healthy eaters, this one is the best variant to have: protein plus lots of vegetables in a single dish. It is a nutritious meal for those who are trying to avoid carbs. Just grill chicken with romaine lettuce, fresh tomatoes, carrots, red onion and goat cheese added with light vinegar to taste.
Asian Chicken Salad
Crunch and citrusy, a perfect way to describe this salad. Also, if you are someone who loves noodles, you will definitely love it. It is made of crunchy noodles, cabbage, carrots, green onions and chicken poured with Asian dressing and topped with sesame seeds.
Chinese Chicken Salad
It is almost the same as the Asian salad, except for the dressing, which is a basic vinaigrette combined with sesame oil.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Watching your favorite games and wanting to eat healthy at the same time? This is the perfect salad for that. It is marinated chicken covered with ranch and some veggies on the side.
BBQ Chicken Salad
It is a flavorful, healthy salad that will surely become a hit to any occasions, whether a simple dinner or a family gathering. It is grilled chicken that is brushed with barbecue sauce mixed with fresh vegetables. If you want something fresh, filling and has that tangy, delicious flavor, this is the perfect choice.
Shredded Chicken Salad
This salad is best served as a filling in sandwiches. It is highly nutritious, which is a perfect meal for those who are always on the go. The recipe is just like the classic salad, but the chicken is shredded, making it an ideal partner for bulky bread.
Blackened Chicken Salad
It is a perfect summer meal that is easy to prepare. It is made of grilled peaches and tomatoes with chicken, seared in a cast-iron pan.
Spicy Chicken Salad
To add some spike in your usual chicken salad, you just add some chili sauce to it. It is like the Asian Chicken salad but made different with chili oil for that perfect spicy flavor.
Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad
It is an original Wendy’s salad recipe that has been discontinued. This is a variant of chicken salad with quinoa, some type of beans, cherry tomatoes and romaine. What makes it unique is the combination of hummus and vinaigrette that makes its flavor powerful.
Ways to Enjoy Chicken Salad More
Aside from serving your well-loved salad as a main dish or side dish, there are a lot more ways of enjoying them.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
All you need is bread, may it be a loaf bread, buns or baguette, it’s perfect enough to be filled with that leftover chicken salad you had over dinner. It is a perfect healthy snack for your kids or a quick and easy lunch for those busy days.
Chicken Pasta Salad
The combination of Pasta and Chicken Salad can never go wrong. It is also best for potlucks and parties. It is best paired with salad macaroni pasta and rotini. One of my favorites is chicken macaroni salad, with lots of pineapples, raisins and potatoes.
Chicken Taco Salad
Who doesn’t love tacos? Everyone goes crazy about them. Instead of the classic beef and salsa, having a chicken salad over those crunchy, crispy tacos is also a perfect appetizer or snacks.
Is Chicken Salad Healthy?
When we think of salad, most of us think it is healthy. Depending on the ingredients you use, it can be healthy, nutritious and filling. It also depends on chicken parts you will use; the lesser part that has skin, the healthier it is. Dressings, like vinegar, citrus juices and oils, have lower calories. To make your chicken salad healthier, just add more veggies and try serving them with leafy greens instead of bread or toast.
Salvaging Your Salad Dressing
Salad dressing plays a big part on how your salad dish will turn out, whether it’s the taste or the texture. Thus, here are some few tips you can use if something goes wrong with your salad dressing.
Too sweet– if your dressing is too sweet, you can add more mayo and salt or soy sauce to balance the sweetness.
There’s not enough flavor– add some minced garlic or shallots. You can also add some herbs, like mint or parsley. Adding cheese also makes the salad more flavorful.
What Is the Best Way to Cook Chicken for Salad?
Of course, the chicken is the star of this dish. The texture and taste of the chicken will play a big role. The best way to cook chicken is to make sure that it completely defrosts before boiling them to avoid drying out the meat.
In a pan, try to overlap the chicken and only add 1 inch of water or broth. Once the water boilds, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes. Make sure to check the chicken once in a while as it simmers. This way, the chicken will stay tender and juicy.
Food Best Served with Chicken Salad
Chicken salad can be eaten as a side dish, snack or even a main dish for a party or picnic. There are some types food that are best paired to it when eating.
Potato Chips– this is going to be a hit in any gathering. Dipping the potato chips in your chicken salad can be the best snack ever.
A bowl of soup– any kind of soup is a good match for this healthy filling salad during a meal. My favorite is crab and corn soup.
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