When I was little, my mom spoiled me. She worked nights, sleeping in the morning and up by lunchtime. That meant that almost every day, Mom made me a hot lunch. No sandwiches for me and my brothers. We got pierogis and potato pancakes and mini pizzas. To this day, I still prefer a hot lunch to sandwiches. I usually resort to leftovers, soups, and frozen meals.
This chicken salad is one of the more traditional lunch items that has made it into my lunch rotation. I originally made it for a pig-in at work and loved it. The apples made the salad slightly sweet, distinguishing it from other chicken salad recipes. But my favorites part was the almonds – I loved the crunch of the almonds. I’ve enjoyed this chicken salad for lunch several ways: straight-up, on toasted bread, and on a green salad.
Apple Almond Chicken Salad
Adapted from The Pastry Queen
Yields enough for 4-6 sandwiches or salads
Ingredients for the Mayo:
~ 2 large eggs
~ 1 large egg yolk
~ 1 tsp. kosher salt
~ 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
~ 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
~ 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
~ 1/3 c. olive oil
~ 2/3 c. vegetable oil
Ingredients for the Chicken Salad:
~ 1 c. slivered blanched almonds
~ 2 whole boneless chicken breasts, boiled, shredded, and cooled (may use leftover grilled or roasted chicken)
~ 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
~ 2 stalks celery, diced
~ 1 scallion, minced OR 1/2 c. diced red onion
~ 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
~ 1/2 – 3/4 c. homemade mayo
~ kosher salt & pepper, to taste
Make the Mayo: In a blender or food processor, combine eggs, yolk, salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice. Very slowly, with the mixer still running, add oils. You’ll be adding the oils almost a drop at a time, until thickened. If you mayo didn’t thicken up as much as it should (like mine), try refrigerating it for an hour or so. It’s not foolproof, but I was able to salvage my mayo with a brief trip to the fridge.
Store extra mayo in an airtight container for a couple weeks.
Make the Salad: Toast almonds in a 350F oven for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken, apple, celery, onions and parsley. Add just enough mayo to bind the salad, 1/2 – 3/4 c. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate until serving. Add almonds just before serving so that they don’t lose their crunch.
Serve on a roll, bread, or salad, as desired.