day 9: using what you’ve got … til it’s gone (chicken salad)!

In the world of food, creating a new dish from ingredients you have on hand is looked upon as creative and expressive. It can also be a glimpse into one’s ability to spend your kitchen dollars wisely. Here … I like to refer to it as an opportunity to show off your culinary kung-fu kickery. Did you know that some of the most delicious dishes were comprised of mere leftovers, remnants of what was once a delicacy?

As someone that enjoys the art of cooking, loves food and loathes the never-ending trips to the market … I take this practice to heart often. Ever been to someone’s house who says they have no food? Ever seen that person whip up rock star meals with seemingly no effort, budget or stress? It’s down right sexy isn’t it (oh, yes I did)!

Let’s exercise some of that frugality, shall we? Day 1 dawned homemade chicken stock. Day 2 brought a chicken soup to life. Fast forward … what on earth could possibly be left? Chicken salad of course!

Leftovers have never looked or tasted so good!

Leftovers have never looked or tasted so good!

What you’ll need:

  • Leftover pulled chicken
  • A smidge (yes, a smidge) of mayo by way of about a heaping tablespoon
  • A smidge of sour cream (heaping tablespoon I mean – or plain Greek yogurt)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Fresh Italian parsley, chopped (a small handful works great)
  • A bit of dried fruit – dried cranberries is what I used. Raisins, fresh grapes cut in half or apples chopped will do just fine.
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced (or chives work great too)
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste (I add quite a bit as chicken, in my humble opinion is like a blank canvas)
  • Chopped nuts (I don’t like nuts in my salads, but hey, if you’re into that sort of thing add away)

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is velvety smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine chicken , parsley, fruit, celery, onion and nuts (if you’re choosing to).
  3. Pour dressing over the chicken mixture and blend until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Simple as that! Now serve with celery stalks, a sandwich container of some sort, atop a mixed green salad, or eat with the crunch of your choice … mine at the moment are pretzel thins (insert AMAZING).
  5. Enjoy!
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