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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mixed Fruit Chicken Salad

chicken salad
My grandma made this chicken salad last summer for my sister’s wedding shower, and I asked for the recipe but then failed to ever make it. Instead I fell in love with another chicken salad, which I’ve made several times now. I actually finally remembered to give this one a try when I picked up some orange preserves for this chickpea mango spinach salad and wondered how I’d use the rest of the jar. Peanut butter and orange preserves just doesn’t have the same ring that peanut butter and jelly has, am I right?
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chicken salad
When mixed with white balsamic vinegar, cilantro, and jalapeño, the orange preserves make a tangy base for a mixture of chicken and a variety of fruits. Much like my favorite chicken salad, this one includes grapes and pecans, but also mandarin oranges and pineapple! I’d recommend using fresh pineapple if you can find it, but I made this last minute and couldn’t find a ripe one (the canned stuff was still fine in a pinch).

This chicken salad isn’t as well suited for sandwiches as a mayo-based chicken salad, so serve it atop greens with a side of crackers and you’ve got yourself a complete meal!

One Year Ago: Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
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Three Years Ago: Banana Blueberry Bread

Mixed Fruit Chicken Salad
from Southern Living, May 2012

-1/4 cup chopped pecans
-4 cups chopped, cooked chicken breasts
-2 cups seedless red and green grapes, halved
-2 celery ribs, chopped
-1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
-1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup orange marmalade
-1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
-1 medium-sized jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
-2 tbsp olive oil
-mixed greens, for serving, if desired

1. To make the vinaigrette, stir together the marmalade, white balsamic vinegar, jalapeno, cilantro, and olive oil. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan until toasted and fragrant (6-7 minutes), stirring halfway through.
3. Toss together the chicken, grapes, celery, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and salt. Stir in the vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Serve on mixed greens, sprinkled with pecans.