Today, I'm sharing my own special chicken salad recipe with all of you. It is easy to make and fun, too! In case you were wondering, this is the recipe I use for bridal showers, baby showers, and casual luncheons. I don't normally cook with recipes unless I'm baking. My mom and I collaborated on this one to make sure it was as close to exact as possible. A special friend requested this recipe be blogged so, here you go!
1.) Four boneless skinless chicken breasts
2.) 1/2 large onion diced finely
3.) 1 stalk celery diced finely
4.) 1/2 to1 head of fresh garlic diced extremely fine (I love garlic but, if its not your thing, just go with half a head)
5.) Extra Light EVOO
6.) Kosher salt
7.) Fresh ground black pepper (none of that boxed stuff-i'm talking pepper from a fresh pepper mill-multi-colored peppercorns work great) If you don't have a pepper mill, look for McCormick grinders in the spice aisle
8.) 3/4 to 1 cup Hellman's Real Mayo or just enough to bind (nothing less than the calorie-laiden best)
9.) 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.) Preheat oven to 350. Lay a piece of foil out on a cookie sheet. Pour a small amount of olive oil on the foil and rub over cookie sheet. Lay chicken breasts out on foil. Lightly salt, pepper, and olive oil both sides of the chicken. When I mean don't make a heavy paste. Also, don't forget to wash your hands when handling raw meat. If you stop touching the meat to do something else, wash in between as well.
2.) Bake chicken on 350 until juices run clear, it is white all the way through, and internal temperature is 160 in the thickest part of the chicken. If you are unsure about your chicken cooking skills, invest in a meat thermometer. When serving guests, you must always be extra careful about food safety.
3.) While chicken is in the oven, chop celery, garlic, onion finely. Place mayo in a large bowl and add the previous chopped items. Add 1/2 juice of a fresh lemon. Mix all.
4.) When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Most often, I tear the chicken finely and place in the fridge for a few minutes before adding to my mayo mix.
5.) Refridgerate until ready for serving. Best enjoyed with Ritz crackers or crossiants.