I am getting ready to throw my daughter a baby shower. I decided on serving chicken salad as part of the menu and then began to have second thoughts. I realized that making it myself might be daunting on the morning of the celebration, she invited half the population of California after all. So, I went to three different stores and tasted their prepared chicken salad. Nope. Nope. Nope. It was decided. Homemade Chicken Salad was the way to go.
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When it comes to chicken salad, what you put on it is as important as what you put in it. So I use an amazing homemade mayo. It is very difficult to find a mayonnaise made without processed oils and quite frankly, nothing compares to doing it yourself! I decided I could prep all the ingredients the day before the shower and then toss it together that morning. No big deal.
This mayonnaise is perfection, especially when combined with tender chicken breast, grapes, avocado, chives and walnuts!
The Secrets to The Best Chicken Salad:
The mayonnaise: once you go homemade, you never go back! For no fail mayo use an immersion blender. It saves the day! I blew this recipe twice using my regular blender. The immersion blender makes it so easy. And trust me you will use it all the time for mashed potatoes, soups etc…totally worth the investment. When making homemade mayonnaise it is crucial that all the ingredients are room temp. The egg, the oil, the mustard, the lemon juice. Also, be sure to use avocado oil or ‘light’ olive oil.
The chicken: I suggest you use fresh rotisserie chicken breast or brine and cook your own. You can see here how to brine chicken breasts. Brining makes the meat unbelievably tender and anyone can do it! You are just soaking the breasts in salt water, nothing tricky I promise.
The Recipe: The Best Homemade Chicken Salad
What you will need: an immersion blender and spicy brown mustard, I use this mustard for adding incredible flavor to homemade mayonnaise. View this tutorial to see how to make Mayo. If using homemade chicken instead of rotisserie see how to brine here and then cook in oven at 350 degrees until done (about 25-30 minutes). This recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free and Whole 30 compliant. Click to see MANY more chicken recipes.
The Best Homemade Chicken Salad
An easy to make delicious chicken salad. Serve with greens. Alone, this recipe is Whole 30 compliant. Of course you can serve on bread if desired. The key to having mayo turn out beautifully is room temp ingredients. Leave an egg on the counter for several hours before making. If you forget, place egg in really warm water for 10 minutes before using.
The Mayo: All ingredients must be room temp!
- 1 cup light olive oil or avocado oil (I prefer the flavor of avocado oil but it can be hard to find)
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 egg
- pinch of sea salt
- a few turns of black pepper
- juice of half a lemon
For Chicken Salad
- two cups cooked chicken breasts, cooled and diced
- 1/2 cup purple grapes cut in half, (or use diced apples!)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pistachios or pecans (or your favorite nut!)
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 ripe avocado diced
- sea salt, pepper to taste
- As I mentioned above,I find an immersion blender is essential. And I recommend watching the video I link to above.
- Put room temp oil, egg, mustard, and lemon juice in a mason jar just wide enough to fit immersion blender. ALL INGREDIENTS MUST BE ROOM TEMP.
- Place immersion blender in jar. Make sure it is touching the bottom of jar before turning on. Leave at the bottom blending for about 30-45 seconds. You'll see the mayo thickening up. Then slowly raise the blender to the top. If needed you can go up and down a couple of times. If your mayo is too runny (that is what happened in my regular blender) you can try saving it by adding another room temp egg and blending. That saved my mayo!
For chicken salad:
- Combine all ingredients except avocado and stir with desired amount of mayonnaise. Add sea salt and pepper to taste if needed. Gently add avocado stir again.
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