Some of you probably think that chicken salad is just another word for mayo, but let me assure you that it’s more than just a combination of chopped up day-old chicken, celery and mayonnaise – which, for the record, is still pretty good.
Nothing hits the spot like a good sandwich, and with all the students, young and not-so-young, going back to school this month, I got a wave of inspiration to share my recipe for one of my favourites.
So what makes this chicken salad different from all the others out there? This sandwich is the perfect balance of sweet, savoury and crunchy, with just the right amount of chewiness from the bread and dried fruit. You can substitute the ingredients to suit your taste, so if you like green onions instead of shallots or raisins instead of dried cranberries, go ahead. I’ve included the ingredients that I use most often.
When I was in school, I never had anything quite this fancy for lunch. Like many kids, my schoolyard staple was sliced ham and cheese with mayo on white bread. Needless to say, this sophisticated sandwich would have been a welcome addition to my lunch box any day of the week.
Quick food safety note: If you’re planning on sending your loved ones to work or school with this tasty lunch, be sure to pack it in a cooler bag with an ice pack.
Here’s what you’ll need:
(Makes 2 sandwiches.)
1 tbsp mango chutney or caramelized onion spread
1 tbsp each 2% plain yogurt and mayonnaise
Pinch curry powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds
2 tbsp each sliced apricots and cranberries
1 shallot, diced
Pinch each salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken (about 8 oz/225 g uncooked or 1 boneless skinless chicken breast if you’re not using leftover chicken)
4 large Boston lettuce leaves
4 slices whole grain bread, lightly toasted
In large bowl, combine chutney, yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder, if using. Stir in almonds, apricots, cranberries, shallot, salt and pepper. Stir in chicken.
Divide lettuce between 2 slices of bread. Top with chicken mixture and remaining bread slices. Slice in half.
What’s your favourite sandwich?