Chicken Salad

Lunch 2.0

This lesson is 405 words, a 1 minute and 37 second read time. It is a part of Lunch 2.0 and The MaxF Meal Prep collection.

📍 Introduction: 

Chicken salad is one of the most delicious, nutritious, versatile, and high-leverage meal prep items you can make. My parents typically keep some in their refrigerator, and as of last night, I’ve decided that I will do the same. 

What’s excellent about chicken salad is that it’s a neutral base primed for creativity & experimentation. You have an ultimate say on add-ins, sauce flavorings, etc. 

Go ahead and get creative. Chicken salad awaits! 

📓 Ingredients Reference Guide: 

Components

  • Chicken (cooked) 

  • Sweet (e.g., diced apples, green grapes, dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, or cherries) 

  • Crunch (e.g., cucumber, apples, diced white onion or scallion, nuts like chopped walnuts/pecans or slivered almonds ) 

Dressing: 

  • Creamy (e.g., tahini, mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream) 

  • Tangy (e.g., dijon, other mustards, yogurt, lemon juice) 

  • Spices (e.g., curry, turmeric, pepper, cayenne) 

  • Herbs: tarragon leaves, dill, parsley

  • Salt: kosher salt, maldon flakes, fleur de sel 

Base

  • Carbs: bread/toast, pasta, crackers 

  • Greens: arugula, spinach, romaine, butter lettuce leaves 

  • Prepped items: salad, sandwich, grain bowl 

✅ Instructions: 

  1. Cook chicken (e.g., roast/bake, poach, sous-vide)

  2. Once cool enough to handle, pull apart the chicken into bite-sized pieces

  3. Prepare toppings (e.g., slice produce, toast nuts) 

  4. Make sauce & taste along the way 

  5. Add sauce gradually & mix everything 

  6. Serve, enjoy or save! 

📝 Notes Tips & Tricks

  • For the most tender chicken possible, sous vide to 155°F

  • This is a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken

  • Mix the sauce separately from everything else so that the spices don’t clump and stick onto individual ingredients 

  • Toasted nuts have more flavor & crunch. 

  • There are many ways to serve chicken salad (e.g., sandwich, wrap, lettuce wrap, on top of a salad, as a dip for crackers) 

  • Room temperature is typically tastier than cold 

  • Don’t leave chicken salad out for more than 4 hours. 

  • Chicken salad lasts in the fridge for about a week (use sniff test) 

🗂 Recipe Box 

  • NYTimes

  • Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa

  • Michelle’s curry/traditional: sous-vide chicken breasts marinated/cooked in olive oil, salt, a few cloves of garlic and lemon juice (to 155°F) pulled apart into bite-sized pieces by hand, raisins, apples (sliced thin & small); sauce (50% yogurt/ 50% mayonnaise, curry powder, salt and splash of honey and lemon juice) 

🎓 Further Study

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