This recipe for smoked chicken salad is courtesy of our friend Adrienne, who is unable to come to our house unless chicken is on the menu. We had smoked a few whole chickens for dinner the other night and pondered what to do with the rest of it. Adrienne suggested chicken salad, and immediately went to work.
What Goes Into a Smoked Chicken Salad?
The three key components of a great chicken salad are:
- Vegetables for Texture
- Creamy and Tasty Sauce
- Chunks of Smoked Chicken
Mix all of your ingredients and let everything chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
A great chicken salad needs diced vegetables to bring both flavor and texture to the dish.
Adrienne has a firm dislike of celery, which is why she replaces celery with pickles. The pickles add a GREAT flavor, however, in our opinion, the crunch of the celery is still needed. Yep, this could be a source of stress in our friendship – to celery or not to celery. Regardless which you choose (or both), you’re going to quickly fall in love with this recipe.
I like to use the entire rib of celery including the leaves.
Other great additions are diced sweet onions and, if you wanted to make this a little more colorful, some red bell pepper.
Creamy and Tasty Sauce
You are going to want a sauce to coat the chicken and veggies that is creamy, tasty and delicious which is why we are using mayonnaise! We used a low fat mayonnaise for this recipe but if you want to really jack up the flavor then go ahead and use the regular Duke’s mayo.
We add some extra flavor to the sauce by mixing in some Dijon mustard.
We keep the seasoning simple with just salt and pepper but you could easily amp up the flavors by seasoning the sauce with the dry rub you used for smoking the chicken.
Some folks like the sauce to have a little bit of “twang” and will add a tablespoon of cider vinegar of a big squeeze of lemon juice.
Chunks of Smoked Chicken
I like to have fairly uniform chunks of chicken for this recipe so I use breast meat from a leftover smoked chicken or from a batch of smoked bone in chicken breasts. You can cut the meat into 1/2 inch chunks and they will break up a little when you mix them with the dressing.
If you were in a pinch then you could go down to the store and grab a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. To make up for the lack of smoke on the store bought chicken you could add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the dressing.
How to Serve Smoked Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is extremely versatile and presents itself to serving in a wide variety of dishes. If you want to go “Old School Southern” then make up a batch of self rising flour biscuits and serve the cold, creamy salad on the hot biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven.
If you are looking for a light lunch then serve the salad on leaves of romaine lettuce for some simple but delicious lettuce wraps. This would be a great ide for someone who is eating a low carb or keto diet.
You could be elegant and serve the salad inside a cored beefsteak tomato.
But of course, if you want it to be at an extraordinary level of yumminess you MUST try it on cheesy garlic bread!
Try it and tell us what you think!
Original recipe: Smoked Whole Chicken
Smoked Chicken Salad: Creamy and Delicious
- 2 cups of cubed smoked leftover chicken
- 1 cup of lowfat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup of chopped celery
- 1/2 cup of chopped onions
- 3 minced pickles
- 1 tablespoon of mustard we prefer dijon
- salt & pepper
- Take your leftover chicken and combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix ingredients thoroughly and allow to refrigerate at least one hour.
- This chicken salad is good enough to eat on its own, but it becomes the world's best smoked chicken salad sandwich if you serve it on hot, cheesy garlic bread.