Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sunshine Chicken Salad


How about a tasty chicken salad to welcome the first day of spring?  Even though we have no snow on the ground here, the first day of spring definitely came in like a Lion with chilly temperatures (about 32F as I type) and lots of wind (meaning a wind chill of 20F).  Glad I didn't put away my warm coat yet!  On the day I made this last weekend, it was a mild 57F.  The wild ride of March :)


This delightful chicken salad idea came by way of a Penny at Lake Lure Cottage who happened to mention the great chicken salad sandwich she and her husband enjoy at a restaurant in New Smyra Beach, Florida.  No recipe, just a list of the ingredients, so I decided to try and recreate it.  The apples, dried cranberries and orange mayonnaise sounded delicious together.  And, since it's from a restaurant in Florida, I named this Sunshine Chicken Salad :)


This was also a great opportunity to use the pea shoots that I started indoors last month.  I was anxious to see something green growing so just put a small handful of pea seeds in some seed starting soil and look what I have now! They added another wonderful and flavorful dimension to the salad.

Serve it on a bed of greens, add some avocado slices, as I did, or eat it on a buttery croissant, the way the restaurant in New Smyrna Beach serves it! Enjoy!


Sunshine Chicken Salad

Printable Recipe

Serves 2 as a main course salad

Add as much of each ingredient as you like, according to your preference!

2 cooked chicken breasts halves (roasted, poached or rotisserie chicken breast), diced
1 organic Gala Apple, cored and diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted pecans, broken into pieces
1-2 green onions, sliced thin, saving some of the green part for garnish
1/2 cup Hellmans or Best Foods mayonaisse
2 teaspoons concentrated orange juice, or use freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon grated organic orange rind, optional
Small bunch of snipped pea shoots, optional
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook chicken breast, allow to cool and then dice.

In a small saute pan, melt a little butter and add the pecans. Toast, tossing them around in the pan until fragrant and beginning to brown, slightly. Add a pinch of salt and toss. Place on paper toweling to cool.

Make the orange mayonnaise by adding the orange concentrate or fresh orange juice and zest, if using. Stir thoroughly to combine and taste test. Add more orange juice, if desired.

In a large bowl, combine the diced chicken, diced apple, cranberries, pecans, and sliced green onions.

Add the orange mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and toss to coat, adding more mayo, if necessary.

Cool for at least 1 hour to let the flavors combine and serve on a bed of lettuce and top with additional green onion and pea shoots, if available.

38 comments:

  1. today is the first day of spring but here the wind blows very strong, some gusts reach 75 mph( 120 km/h) ! The better thing to do is eating a delicious comfort food like your chicken salad and waiting for spring, definitely ! Warm hugs from windy Trieste

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    1. So windy and chilly here also, Chiara! That doesn't stop me from thinking spring thoughts :) Soon it will be warm again ♥

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  2. absolutely lovely sunshine chicken salad Susan!!!
    xo

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  3. Thank you for sharing your recipe.I love salads such as these and thank you for having shared the idea of the pea shoots!I think they are glorious!!!!!12F this am and I still have feet if snow😢

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    1. I hope we'll see you pea shoots soon also! I love seeing things sprout indoors. It is a tasty chicken salad too :) Thank you, Monique ♥

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  4. That looks so delicious! I wondered if you were eating shamrocks. 🍀

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    1. Having pea shoots sprout indoors is just as lucky, I think :) Thank you, Vee!

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  5. Alas, there is no sunshine around here. In fact, there is snow in the forecast. However, this lovely salad will certainly add warmth to our table. However, I have no pea shoots. Love the addition of orange rind.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. Certainly not spring like here either. A taste here and there but it's been a rough January-March so far. Thanks, Bonnie!

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  6. Those pea shoots are so tender and yummy...perfect to pair with chicken breast. Definitely a keeper!

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    1. They were such a tasty addition to the salad, Angie. I love having them growing on the window sill :) Thank you!

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    1. That's was I was thinking too! Thank you, Madonna :)

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  8. Sounds very healthy and hearty! Love the idea of adding the pea shoots... I'm waiting for mine to come up, planted on St. Pat's Day:@)

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    1. Outdoors? Wow, I probably won't plan mine until mid April outside. One of my favorite crops :) Thanks, Lynn!

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  9. Happy Spring Susan! Love pea shoots, and I guess I should plant some seeds to remind me that spring is really here. LOL Perfect lunch too!

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    1. You should :) They grow very quickly! Thanks, Debbie ♥

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  10. Sue you had me with the apples, cranberries and orange mayo - boy my mouth is watering for this salad!! Sounds so good, I will definitely try it! Love the name too! Have a great week!

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    1. That's what had me too, A&L! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did :) Thanks!!

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  11. Sounds like a delightful chicken salad with a burst of orange flavor! This would be perfect for a ladies luncheon. Thanks for sharing this sunshine salad. Happy Spring!

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    1. It is delightful and perfect for a ladies luncheon :) Thank you, Kitty!

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  12. Wow I love this salad - and even though the calendar says spring, we had our biggest snow of the season today. I need this sunshine in my life! The pea shoots are wonderful - I need to do that asap!

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    1. I am shocked at all the snowy landscapes I'm seeing on Instagram, Tricia! I think we're overdue for some warm weather :) Hope you try the pea shoots - so much fun!

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  13. Great salad, Susan! It looks delicious! Definitely not spring-like weather here, but it's one day closer to Summer!!!

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    1. A day at a time :) I see things poking through the ground so it must be thawing! Thanks, Pam!

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  14. I bet this is a fabulous salad. I am loving the sound of that orange mayo. Today is gorgeous here but I'm not uncovering anything yet!

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    1. That's what pulled my in too, Abbe. You never know in Denver...70s' one day and snow the next. Thanks :)

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  15. What a delicious chicken salad. I usually add grapes to mine, but will try the apples next.

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Yes, grapes here too but the apples give a lovely crunch!

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  16. What a perfect recreation of the chicken salad that I had. I will definitely be making your version Susan. I've been away from the blog for a while and just saw your post. Thanks for the link. Will be back to blogging soon.

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    1. Thanks so much, Penny :) When you talked about it in your post my mouth was watering! I hope it tastes like the original. Let me know if you ever make it so I know!

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  17. Lindas imagens. Feliz fim-de-semana.

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  18. This salad is wonderful. And I love your pea shoots!

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    1. Thank you, Mimi! You'll be seeing more pea shoots in the future ;)

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  19. What a beautiful salad! I need sunshine in my life!!!

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  20. Both , the pasta salad and the bread would make a perfect meal for me. Happy late Birthday and happy Easter!

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