13 Jul 2009

Easy Chicken Salad

This recipe is an easy one.

I am big on presentation and light on preparation – this salad fits perfectly into this category.

The ingredients are simple, fresh and available, it can be prepared ahead of time and it looks very pretty on the plate.

Chicken Salad

*Poach the chicken breasts (one per person or two if you are extra hungry) on a low heat in salted water with fresh bay leaves, a handful of pepper corns and copious cloves of fresh garlic. It normally takes about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

*Remove the chicken from the pan, place in a bowl and pour half of the remaining jus over the chicken. This makes sure that the chicken breasts stay moist. Leave to cool.

*When the chicken is luke warm – say 15/20 minutes later – remove it from the stock and cut it into chunky pieces. (Leave the bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic cloves behind with the stock. The excellent chefs would have a plan for this leftover jus…sorry, not me.)

*In a bowl mix creme fraiche – I normally use one 50cl container for 12 smallish chicken breasts – and then add the chopped chicken.

*Stir together the chicken and the creme fraiche so that all the pieces are covered lightly.

*To this mixture add fresh chopped chives, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste.

* Just before serving add a cup full of freshly chopped mint and mix evenly through the salad. The secret to success is the fresh mint and the trick is to chop it at the last moment to preserve its flavour and colour.

The salad is best eaten at room temperature and with it I served a very simple rocket/arugula and parmesan salad.

The beauty of this chicken salad is that it is quick and easy to make and leaves plenty of time to make the table pretty.

The getting ready and the prettying up – that is my very favourite part of entertaining. xv

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I'm feeling a bit like a chunky chicken today…especially around the waist! My DD is in a bit of a mood because we have to rush and everyone here is on the summer stay up as late as you want schedule.

I thought of you this week, especially Sunday when we attended by sister-in-law's wedding. It was held outdoors under white tents very similar to yours.

I wrote about it yesterday. Won't you come over and read about it? I have to waddle over to the car now, squawk a bit to get everyone going, and leave this mountain for a bit. It might be good to get rid of a little bit of chunk- I have going on here. <3

Vicki Lane

This sounds wonderful. I rarely meet a chicken salad I don't like — there are such and infinite variety of them. Only yesterday I made our family's traditional recipe — the same one my grandmother and mother made — a whole chicken (I like the dark meat) simmered with onion, celery, salt, peppercorns, and Muchi curry powder (the last is my innovation). The meat cooled and chopped then mixed with diced red apples, celery, and purple onions. Lemony homemade mayonnaise to bind it all together. A southern delight, served on romaine leaves and accompanied by potato chips (crisps)and pickled peaches!


That chunky chicken salad sounds lovely Vicki, I was wondering if I could substitute prawns or shrimp or even lobster, as I don't eat meat, I may try it one evening this week, and I will let you know how it goes. Hugs, Margie.


Hi Vicki, Your salad sounds fantastic–can't wait to try it. I love chicken salad and have a few of "my own recipes", but I have never tried mint–this week we'll have Vicki's Salad. Thanks.


thank you, sounds yummy
and light…
love that you and DD have in-house
language, me and my 3 DD do too!

Lylah Ledner

That sounds amazing and I must try it this week. Just received a copy of your book -on Saturday and I'm delighting in some quiet moments with coffee to peruse its pages.

Lovely….simply lovely…you pen in a way that draws the heart in. lylah


Love the flowers in the centerpiece and such a beautiful container. Just gorgeous. Your recipe sounds so good. I LOVE chicken salad. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty


OMG, what a treat, a chicken salad recipe, simple on preparations and big on presentations. You are my kind of lady. For me most of eating is mental, the appearances, the fragrances, the plates…I am totally a chunky chicken today. I actually felt lighter than usual but hop I go on the scale and i was heavier than usual. Such injustice on a beautiful monday morning….
Happy Monday!


Sounds delicious! Now I have a bit of a craving for it! I can relate to the days of feeling like a 'chunky chicken'- but it's summer and with all of the fresh produce, I'm staying on track…at least for now…


I read this post before doing my usual morning exercises: basically a bit of yoga along with some sufi spinning accompanied by prayers/affimations. Just had to giggle , because I couldn't get your term,"chunky chicken," out of my head – – – then it morphed into
"funky chicken!"

La Belette Rouge

I could eat enough of that chicken salad to turn into a chunky chicken. I love a good chicken salad. Especially if there is curry involved. But, oh-la-la=laaa!!You take it to another level: creme fraiche, chives and pine nuts. Yummy!!


This is a different twist on the "chicken salad" salad that I am anxious to try…I can't wait to serve this up to some of my girly friends and then tell them where the recipe came from..thanks

Renee Finberg

funny you should say 'chunky chicken'…i know that i am FAT when i look in the mirror and my legs look like a nice plump chicken legs.

and that would be NOW.

Simply Mel

And we use the term "chunky monkey" – as if that is any more definitive, ha!

I'll be trying this recipe tomorrow. It's very warm here this week, so easy does it for me!

Glorious week to you…

count it all joy

I love the sound of this salad Vicki – the mint sounds so refreshing and summer-y. I'm sure you in no way resemble a "chunky chicken" – didn't you know that calories don't count if you are celebrating your child's birthday? It's God's way of making up for labour pains. Meredith xo.


Vicki – the only thing 'chunky' about you is your imagination……! Yesterday, we were treated to your wonderful photos showcasing your glorious party settings and today, a delicious salad you whipped up to serve upon them! What a woman…..!x

mondo cherry

This sounds delicious – I will admit to never having pouched chicken breasts in my life, but will give this a try. The party you threw for your daughter sounded amazing and your garden looked so beautiful. No wonder the guests had a ball and your daughter had the best weekend of her life. My very favourite part of entertaining is the decorating touches and thinking through the theme too. Hope the black circles disappear soon!
Clare x


What a fabulous recipe , not too difficult , looks good and probably gets ooooh's and aaah's and doesn't make you look like a chunky chicken!!!!! as it's pretty healthy…I'm going to make it this week…Merci XXXX


Can I say "I feel chunky chicken" after a weekend at home with my granny? She's a great cook and I always feel like a spoiled child when I'm around her!


This salad sounds wonderful (I was drooling as I read the recipe) and I'm going to give it a go very, very soon. Lee :)


Hi Vicky, I just love getting your blog comment delivered to my email box every morning!! How lucky I am to be part of a personal journey like your's! You really inspire me every single day and receiving the blog every morning, starts my day with a smile in my heart. Thank you for sharing your lovely life with us ….. Have a wonderful day … From Wendy Wainwright, Brisbane, Australia. XX


Pass the Chunky Chicken Salad & the vino & I'll join you on the Terrace – this looks fantastic! For someone who has publicly stated they can't really cook, I think you've done a pretty good job here Vicki. Great name – very similiar to the best chicken & chips takeaway in Adelaide – Funky Chicken in Unley.
Millie ^_^
P.S. If you're reading this MOTH don't expect this next Sunday for lunch, it will be your usual toasted cheese sangie & you'll be grateful for every mouthful!


Hi,sounds delicious, I will try it today!I like expression Chunky Chicken, and chunky chicken days, hahaha.
Thank you for your nice comment about my flowers.
Magdalena at Color Sepia

Celeste Maia

I am making your chicken salad for lunch today, it really looks delicious! It is always a treat to come to your blog.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Zita - Mlle Magpie

Yes, I'm feeling chunky chicken since my holiday, with all of the ice cream I ate. That is so funny, Vicki, because my brothers and I grew up using that exact same term as well! Thanks for the easy recipe, but it's very difficult to find creme fraiche which I think is critical for this recipe, but I'll be on the lookout…

Angie Muresan

This chicken salad recipe is wonderful. I read your blog yesterday morning (my time), and prepared it for dinner last night. I love it! Even my little picky eaters loved it. The salad was superb. Arugula is a childhood favorite, my grandma grew it in her garden, and we used to go and tear leaves and stuff our mouths with it.


Hi Vicki,

So, the myriad blooms are an integral part of the presentation, huh? Simple and stunning at the same time.


Sounds delicious!!!! I'll need to add the to my repetoire. Creme fraiche..how could it be anything but perfection!!!
Vicki you've been making my harried weeks of late less crazy. I appreciate your relaxation techniques.


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