Culinary Quest #13 – Chicken & Grape Salad

There is something really fresh about chicken salad.  It screams summer!  The only bummer is the nutrition factor which gets shot out of the water with mayonnaise.  😦 I discovered a mayo-less version in Dean & Deluca, but was very skeptical – so I bought some out of curiousty.  Wow!  It was so good!  I had to be convinced…and I was.

Below is my version of chicken & grape salad.  Although consideration needs to be given to refrigeration due to the chicken content, without the mayo I am a little more relieved when taking it to picnics, parties, etc.

The citrus really makes this salad pop, but it doesn’t dominate the flavor.  Also, when shopping, look for firm grapes.  Too soft and it makes the salad texture mushy.  The celery is the crunch; the chicken is the soft; and the grapes are the Goldilocks – just right in the middle.

This cool, summer salad can be served in a bowl on its own, or on a croissant, in a pita or between slices of bread.  The photo above shows this salad with hearty sourdough.

The vinaigrette makes more than enough for this recipe.  Depending on your preference, save some vinaigrette for later (great on lettuce salads or as a marinade) or use it to wet the salad almost like a citrus au jus.  Either way, it’s this easy recipe is a great way to beat the summer heat.  Enjoy!

Chicken & Grape Salad

Ingredients:

3              Chicken breasts

3c            Red grapes

4              Celery stalks

1/4c         Italian (a.k.a. flat) parsley; diced

salt, pepper, and herbs de provence to taste for the chicken

Citrus Vinaigrette

*****************************************************************************************

Citrus Vinaigrette:

2T           rice vinegar

4T           fresh squeezed lemon juice w/ pulp

7T           frozen orange juice concentrate

4T           canola oil

2T           granular sugar

1/2t          salt

1/4t       pepper

Directions:

Trim fat from chicken and rinse under water.

Bake seasoned chicken in a foil-lined baking dish in oven @ 350 for 20 minutes or until done (do not over cook or it will dry out).  OR, boil in a large pot on the stove until done.  (Boiled will produce a milder flavor.)  When I bake, I use a dish that squishes the chicken close together so it doesn’t dry out.

While the chicken cools, prep the grapes and celery (wash first, then cut in large pieces).  Chop parsley.

Make the vinaigrette.

While chicken is still warm, cut into cubes.

Toss everything together in a large bowl. (The warm chicken helps absorb the vinaigrette.)

Let it sit several hours or overnight before serving.  Stir well before serving.

One thought on “Culinary Quest #13 – Chicken & Grape Salad

  1. Omg!!! I love D&D’s chicken and grape salad, and have searched the Internet for so long looking for a recipe. Thank you so much, coming to make this today!!!

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