Chicken Salad made from Roasted Chicken Breast



A dish I’ve made for years somehow didn’t get onto this recipe blog. Perhaps that’s because it is nearly like the roasted chicken salad we make at the restaurant, which sells very well there. But I don’t expect that we will lose sales, or that some competitor will take advantage of our trade secrets, if I post the recipe.


The key to what we make is rubbing boneless, skinless chicken breast with seasonings and a little oil and roasting it. Then we chop it finely (in a food processor usually) and mix it with diced celery and green onion, mayonnaise, horseradish and lemon juice.


The finished product will keep for 6-7 days refrigerated. It makes outstanding sandwiches, for example on croissants and adding some thin-sliced cucumber or fresh spinach, or as an appetizer spread, or for topping a lunch salad.


The recipe makes enough for six good-sized sandwiches.


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 medium breast halves)

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon dry Herbes de Provence (or 1/4 teaspoon thyme plus 1/4 teaspoon oregano)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil or sunflower or canola oil

10-inch length of celery stalk

2 green onions, white and green parts

1/2 cup mayonnaise

5 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish


Trim off tough or fatty parts from the chicken. Place chicken pieces on flat baking sheet and sprinkle on both sides with the salt, herbs and black pepper. Drizzle oil onto the chicken.


Roast in a 350 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for ten minutes. Turn the pieces over and roast another ten minutes then turn pieces over again. Continue to roast, 5-10 minutes depending on thickness, until cooked: internal temperature of 165 degrees with a meat thermometer or no pink color when a piece of chicken is cut in half. Let cool.


On a clean cutting board, split the celery lengthwise into 1/8-inch wide strips. Cut them in half lengthwise. Line them up together and slice them across thinly with a chef’s knife to dice the celery. Place it in a mixing bowl. Remove the roots and bottom 1/4 inch of the green onions and cut off the tips of the green parts. Cut the onions in half in the middle. Line up the pieces and slice them very thinly. Add them to the celery. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice and horseradish. Mix well.


Add any pan juices from the chicken pan to the mixture in the bowl. Chop the chicken finely: cut into chunks then pulse it in a food processor, about half at a time, until well chopped, but not puréed or mushy. Alternatively, slice then chop the chicken, part at a time, on the cutting board, using the chef’s knife.


Add chopped chicken to the bowl and mix well until evenly moistened. Taste a bit, and add a little salt, if needed, to taste.


The flavors intensify as the chicken salad is allowed to sit for a while. Mix well one final time, and taste again for salt, adding a little if needed. Use now, or refrigerate in a covered container.






Rice Pilaf with Peaches and Rosemary


With peaches coming in strong here in Georgia, I enjoy cooking savory dishes with them, as well as enjoy them as fruit. Rosemary, which is year-round here, makes a nice foil to the peach flavor,
at least if used sparingly.


“Pilaf” historically applies to rice cooked with a seasoned broth and added meat, seafood, vegetables or fruits and nuts. Here’s a version using seasonal peaches. Rosemary and a few whole spices add delicate flavor highlights.  The dish will go well with grilled food, or pork, duck, smoked sausage or with a savory braised dish.


The recipe serves six.


1 1/2 cups Basmati or other long grained rice

2 large or three medium peaches

2 tablespoons white wine

Water (see instructions below)

1 medium shallot or 1/2 small onion, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

18 individual leaves taken off a sprig of rosemary

6 whole peppercorns

2 whole cloves

Minced fresh parsley for garnish


Rinse rice several times and drain well. Set aside to “dry” somewhat.


Peel peaches. Chop flesh coarsely. Place in large (4-cup) measuring cup with the wine. Add enough water to bring the volume up to 2-3/4 cups.


Mince shallot or onion. Heat a heavy pot and fry onion in olive oil, stirring frequently, until onion is limp and beginning to become golden. Add drained (and somewhat dried) rice and stir and fry one minute.


Add peaches and liquid mixture plus salt, sugar if used, rosemary, peppercorns and cloves. Stir.


Bring to a boil, without stirring until after rice is fully cooked. Reduce heat to low, cover pot. Simmer, covered without opening, 20 minutes. Do not lift lid, but turn off heat and let sit 10 minutes.


Remove visible rosemary leaves and whole spices from the surface. Fluff rice with a fork.


Serve, sprinkled with minced parsley.

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