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Chicken Waldorf Salad

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I came up with this recipe many years ago as relief from a sticky summer. I was getting fed up with meat from the grill plus salad for dinner, so I threw together some favorite foods and ended up with this: a variation on Waldorf Salad.  I’ve even found that kids who don’t normally like fruit will eat bowls of this salad.

Ingredients:Gluten-Free Chicken Waldorf

  • 1½ lbs. cooked chicken breast cut into 1-2” cubes (You can also use deli chicken or turkey cut thick, store-bought roasted chicken or leftover barbecue chicken. Check that any store-bought meat is gluten-free.)
  • 3 Granny Smith or Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice.
  • About 1 c seedless grapes, preferably red or black for color. Cut large grapes in half.
  • 3 stalks of celery. Washed, quartered lengthwise and cut into ¼ “ dice
  • ½ c chopped walnuts, salted peanuts, or cashews
  • ½ c raisins – I prefer golden raisins  for color
  • 1 x 6 oz carton of Greek Style lemon yogurt (Chobani is gluten-free)
  • ½ c mayo – lite is fine

Directions:

1. Mix mayo and lemon yogurt together.  

2. Add diced apples and turn until well covered by dressing.  Even after 24 hours I find that the apples don’t discolor in this salad.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the yogurt or fruit are particularly tart, you can add honey or other sweetener to balance the flavor.

4. Add nuts right before serving. Nuts will soften and lose their crunch if they sit in the dressing for too long.

5. Serve with mixed salad for a wonderfully refreshing meal that is also special enough to be served to friends. My savory cheese breads from the January issue would complement this meal.

Tips/Alternatives: Note that I don’t add salt or pepper, as I don’t find it is necessary. For some variation, try adding bell peppers or dried apricots or even fresh nectarines. For a sweet touch, top the salad with whipped cream.

To cook the chicken from scratch, put about 1+1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 portions) in a saucepan with hot tap water to cover. Cover and bring slowly to a boil on the top of the stove. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 7 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the meat to cool down with the water. Cooking time may vary based on the size of the breasts as well as pan size and original temperature of meat. This results in very moist, tender meat with very little heating of the kitchen.  Do check that the meat is cooked all the way through before using.

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