Slice of Life: Chicken Salad

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24 Dec 2014

chix_sladThis time of year there is always plenty of food to go around, in fact what kind of party would it be if there weren’t leftovers? Slices of turkey, chicken and even a bit of roast are sure to end up in everyone’s refrigerator. Turning leftovers into “planned-overs” is sort of a specialty of mine, and since I had a fair amount of catering to do these past few months I had plenty of leftovers, specifically chicken, more specifically soup chicken.

Soup chicken is different from roasted or baked chicken as it’s used to make chicken broth and then removed. This chicken is a little less “chicken-y” in taste as it’s been cooked in broth but it is nonetheless perfect for chicken salad. Shredded or diced it’s great for absorbing all the flavors it’s mixed with.

The following chicken salad recipes are incredibly versatile and can be tweaked and ingredients substituted as your tastes and pantry allow. All are delicious and can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes for a quick dinner or lunch and are hearty enough to serve to company.


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
3/4 cup salsa
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped (1/2 of 1 avocado set aside)
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

In a salad bowl combine the lime juice, lime zest, salt, pepper and 1/2 of 1 avocado. Mash the avocado and mix to combine. Add chicken and cilantro, tomatoes, celery and lettuce and mix to combine. Gently fold in the remaining avocado pieces and salsa. Mix to combine and coat. Top with crushed tortilla chips and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

My file, source unknown


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons water
3 cups cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces
2 tart apples, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts
Shredded lettuce
1 tart apple, sliced thin, dipped in lemon juice (optional)

Combine mayonnaise, curry powder, and water in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the chicken, chopped apple, celery and raisins Mix to combine and then cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. To serve place some shredded lettuce on a salad plate, place 3/4 cup of salad on top and then garnish with apple slices and honey roasted peanuts. Serves 4 to 6.

Modified from


1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ lb bow tie pasta cooked according to the package directions, rinsed
1/2 cucumber – diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 carrot, shredded
8 oz fresh spinach
2 large cans mandarin orange segments, drained
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing: in a bowl combine the ginger, rice vinegar, orange juice, oil, sesame oil, soup mix, sugar, and garlic and whisk until combined. Cover and refrigerate.

In a bowl combine the cooked pasta, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, mandarin oranges and chicken. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Garnish with the toasted almonds and serve. Serves 6 to 8

Modified from


3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
4 to 6 pieces pastrami, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup chopped salted cashews
4 green onions, sliced
2 oranges, peeled sectioned and cut in half
2 cups shredded red cabbage
salt and pepper, to taste
Rice noodles

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, orange sections and Dijon mustard and mix until combine. Add the chicken, cashews, green onions, and red cabbage. Mix to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour then season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve sprinkle the rice noodle and chopped pastrami on top and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Modified, Submitted by Rachel Carpello Chicago IL, source unknown


3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1/2 cup hickory smoked brown sugar barbecue sauce,
2 cups shredded lettuce
6 strips turkey pastrami, chopped
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 ripe avocados, cubed
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup sliced black olives, drained and chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup pareve ranch dressing
1/2 cup barbeque sauce, optional

In a bowl combine the chicken and bbq sauce, toss to coat and set aside. Line a platter with the shredded lettuce. Arrange the chicken, pastrami, eggs, tomatoes, avocado, beans and corn, in rows on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the top. In a bowl combine the dressing and barbeque sauce, whisk to combine and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

My file, source unknown

© Eileen Goltz chicken salad 15a

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.