What IS it about chicken salad that is so stinkin' indulgent and delicious? When done right, it's one of those things I have a real hard time passing up if it's on a menu. But to be honest, I thiiiiiiink I make it the best at home. And that's why it's a favorite of mine to make ahead for weekday lunches.
I usually like my chicken salad to be nice and juicy from tender chicken and a good mayo-based dressing, good crunch, plenty of herbs and seasoning, and sometimes, a little something sweet in it.
But this one, oddly, is pretty light on mayo and is truly a honey mustard mixture, instead. The result is so tangy and hot from the Dijon that it might be my favorite rendition yet. Whereas the mayo-based chicken salads have a tendency to leave you feeling a certain type of way, this one feels lighter, but no less indulgent. It's got dried cherries for sweetness and chewiness, and plenty of black pepper to counter that. And the celery and butter lettuce help to offer a crispness (and freshness) that go so well with all the other guys at play.
The thick-cut sourdough is really just a fun alternative to what might be more standard. I highly recommend it.
Honey Dijon chicken salad with dried cherries on sourdough
Yields 4-5 servings
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
1½ T honey
1 T mayonnaise
1 T grainy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
3 chicken breasts, cooked/cooled (I swear by this method), and sliced into small chunks
2 stalks celery, sliced the long way, and then finely diced
⅓ cup dried cherries
¼ cup finely diced sweet onion
Sourdough bread, cut into thick slices
Mayo for bread
In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon, honey, mayo, grainy mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, celery, dried cherries, and sweet onion. Pour in dressing, and toss well to coat. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper to taste. Toast bread, and spread a little bit of mayo on each slice. Top with a piece of butter lettuce, followed by a good amount of chicken salad. Eat right away! Note: chicken salad can be made ahead, of course, but reserve the dried cherries and some of the dressing to mix in when ready to eat - otherwise I find too much of it gets absorbed and the cherries reconstitute.