Chicken salad is pretty much a staple in most people’s kitchen repertoire. Let’s face it, it tends to be a crowd pleaser and is a fantastic way to use up leftover chicken and those fruits and vegetables that may be taking up space and are of a quantity that can’t be used for much else. Oh, and easy chicken salad recipes are pretty much a dime a dozen. This too is an easy chicken salad but it gets some additional flavor from grilled chicken and a green goddess dressing for the modern taste buds with a special ingredient.
I’ve posted about healthy chicken salad before, in the form of a curry chicken salad. Which is some pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself…but I get that curry isn’t everyone’s favorite flavor. I make no judgements regarding others tastes. Actually, I do but I try to keep them to myself unless it’s fashion or plastic surgery related and then the snarky comments just fly. It’s like some kind of involuntary bodily function that I just can’t control. Probably about as distasteful as farting in public, but we’ve all got our faults right?
That being said, this is also an easy chicken salad (but really, is there a not easy chicken salad out there). I had grilled up a bunch of chicken breasts for dinner the night before and used the leftovers for this chicken salad the next day. Yes, another fantastic recipe for using up leftovers. So I had managed to scrounge up enough of the key ingredient (chicken), but what else to mix in with it? I had a few pieces of celery hanging around in the crisper drawer, some wayward kumquats in the fruit bowl and then managed to find some of my chicken salad favorites of almonds, green onions and dried tart cherries.
But you can’t just have grilled chicken salad with pieces parts in it…you’ve got to have some kind of dressing to pull the whole thing together (literally). I don’t keep mayonnaise around in the fridge (I don’t really know why) so I usually use plain yogurt. But that wasn’t going to be enough. so I started playing around and made up a green goddess dressing. Not just any ol’ green goddess dressing though…this stuff has a kick, as in horseradish. So this easy chicken salad gives you a twofer. First, it fills you up and second it clears out your sinuses. Just in time for those people with pollen allergies…no antihistamines necessary. If chicken soup is good for a cold, then this grilled chicken salad is good for allergies. (These statements have not been cleared by the FDA.)
As for that green goddess dressing….The first time I experienced the stuff was when I was 5 and on an airplane. Up until then I had only ever heard of Italian salad dressing. What was this exotic salad dressing? When my mom opened the little container and poured it on my salad I was immediately intrigued – it was green! After tasting it, I was instantly a fan. If you’ve never had green goddess dressing it’s sort of like a lighter version of the condiment du jour, ranch dressing. My version of the green goddess is full of fresh and dried herbs, which gives it that familiar light green color, but it also packs a bit of a punch from the fresh horseradish root that’s blended in.
The recipe for the dressing is on the thinner side, so you could easily use any of the leftovers to dress salads. I like a lighter dressing for chicken salad. I’m not a fan of the gloppy thick stuff you find in most chicken salad recipes. But, if you would like to thicken this up, just add more plain yogurt until you get the consistency you’re looking for.
So chop your chicken, unleash the goddess in you and make up this chicken salad for a light and refreshing snack or easy lunch.
Recipe: Grilled Chicken Salad with a Modernized Green Goddess Dressing
For Green Goddess Dressing
- 3/4 Cup Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
- 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Fresh Horseradish
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Parsley
- 2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Dill
- 3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Chives
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
For Chicken Salad
- 2 Cups Diced Chicken (previously grilled)
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Almonds
- 1/4 Cup Dried Tart Cherries
- 4 Green Onions (sliced – including green tops)
- 6 Kumquats (sliced)
- 3 Stalks Celery (chopped)
- 3/4 Cup Green Goddess Dressing
For Green Goddess Dressing
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender and buzz until everything is well blended and there are no pieces of the horseradish still identifiable in the mix (cuz if you get a bite of one of those, things can get a bit hot).
- Pour into a container and set aside.
For the Chicken Salad
- Add first 6 ingredients to a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over the top and stir to combine.
- Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving (this allows some of the dressing to be absorbed by the ingredients).
- Serve with crackers, on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich.
Feel free to add more yogurt to the mix if you would like a thicker dressing. In place of the kumquats you could use red or green grapes. This will make it sweeter as opposed to tangy.
You will have some of the green goddess dressing leftover. This will keep, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
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