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I don’t generally repeat dishes very often. As someone who loves to cook, I experiment and am always coming up with new meals. I don’t think I’ve ever made the same dish exactly the same way more than a couple times. Recently I was chatting about bone broth with some friends, I realized every batch of bone broth I make is different- I love adding things to it.
Something you will almost always find in my fridge or freezer is chicken salad. It’s super easy to whip up, freezes well and is “normal” food. What do I mean by “normal” food? Well, we eat ‘out’ a lot… and by ‘out’ I mean we pack our meals and eat them somewhere other than home. There are not a lot of transportable AIP-friendly foods out there. Pate & sardines are two of our favorites, but they are met with strange looks and noses turned up when we’re eating with friends. Plus, sardines stink & sometimes you want to look “normal”l. Chicken salad is an American staple food. Most people love it, every Grandma had her secret recipe and it travels well.
Chicken salad is also great to serve company who might be reluctant about AIP (or a friend who you’re trying to convince to go Paleo?!?) We have served many a lunch guest chicken salad. I use this basic recipe as the base and have fun with additions. It can be made as fancy or as simple as you like and with my tips, it’ll be a crowd-pleaser when you have guests to feed!
Equipment & Ingredients
This easy & delicious dish is even easier with a few things.
Start with WARM chicken. It’s much easier to chop/shred when it’s warm.
A rotisserie chicken (Whole Foods has a plain organic chicken & they’re $3 off on Wednesdays). If you don’t have a WF near you, pre-cook 2.5lbs chicken breast or thighs.
A Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the “paddle” attachment (not 100% necessary but makes things much easier!)
A mandolin or chopper (also not a necessity, just a nicety)
I always include Real Salt in my chicken salad- I especially love the kosher salt! Lemon juice, avocado oil, melted ghee, olive oil, carrots, and celery are also always included. Everything else is fun to play with! Sometimes I add in Perfect Supplements collagen (which dissolves well) for an extra protein & nutrient boost (plus it’s great for leaky gut & helps reduce my Raynaud’s-related joint pain) and/or their fermented kale powder (great for digestion, detox & immune support). I also love to mix in capers, super crispy bacon, AIP BBQ sauce, fresh or dried herbs, and chopped green onion. Play around, don’t be scared to add things in & enjoy!
Make it work for your dietary needs- swap out the ghee for melted coconut oil, add in crispy nuts for Paleo & WAPF, consider homemade raw mayo or mustard if you tolerate them. This would also be delicious with hard boiled eggs added in.
Curious about the mixer? I’m about to change the way you chop/shred cooked chicken- mixer magic!! If you don’t have a mixer, you can chop the chicken.
I take my nice, warm chicken (skin removed) and plop it in the bowl of my mixer. The mixer is fitted with the paddle attachment & turned on “stir.” After about 2 minutes I have perfectly shredded chicken. *insert singing chorus* SO easy guys- and it’s awesome. Sometimes we eat the shredded chicken plain. This also works great for shredded chicken tacos, soup & breaking up ground meat. The chicken has to be warm for this to work- if it’s cold it’ll bang around in your mixer & cause problems. Usually, I buy my rotisserie chicken, bring it home nice and warm, pull it apart & plop it in. Or I cook 2.5lbs boneless skinless breasts and/or thighs in the oven, cool a tad & shred.
While it’s shredding, I chop my veggies with my mandolin. I like to shred the carrots & slice the celery thick.
Using a large spoon I stir in my veggies, oil, salt, melted ghee, lemon juice, spices, etc. (note- I have tried adding everything at once with the chicken & stirring it with the “paddle”- for some reason this results in soft & strange textured chicken- paddle the chicken & then stir everything else in by hand)
Leaving the chicken salad in the fridge overnight is where the real magic happens. All the flavors meld together and you end up with something wonderful!
My favorite way to serve this is on sweet potato toast as an open-faced “sandwich” (or on Mission Heirloom Yucan Crunch crackers when I can get my hands on them.) It’s also great on top of salad greens, with some kraut, or just eaten with a spoon!
We have found this chicken salad freezes well so long as the veggies are cut small. I usually make a big batch and freeze in my sandwich size Neat-O’s bags for an easy “to go’ meal.
Hope you enjoy! Share with me where you take your chicken salad & what you include in it!
Easiest Ever Chicken Salad
Time- 20 minutes Difficulty- EASY! Serves- 6-8
* Warm meat from 1 Rotisserie chicken OR 2.5lbs cooked boneless, skinless chicken
* 2 large carrots
* 2 stalks celery
* 4-6 T liquid fat of choice (I use 2T avocado oil, 1 T olive oil, and 1 T ghee) OR tolerated mayo
* salt & lemon juice to taste
* optional add-ins: fresh or dried herbs, green onion, chopped garlic, capers, crunchy bacon, Perfect Supplements Collagen, Perfect Supplements Fermented Kale Powder, olives, hard boiled eggs, avocado, the sky is the limit!
* Place warm meat in bowl of Kitchen Aid mixer fit with “paddle” attachment & set to “stir” for 2-4 minutes until chicken is shredded to desired consistency OR Chop chicken to desired consistency & place in bowl
* Fold in other ingredients
* Eat warm OR place in fridge at least 4 hours to cool & allow flavors to meld
Store 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer