There are as many different chicken salad recipes in the South as there are people, I think. There’s another recipe on this website that I absolutely love…calls for garlic and green onions and all kinds of stuff.
This one is different. Lighter, sweeter, cleaner tasting. If your mood calls for it, sub the apples for white grapes. Enjoy!
Apple Chicken Salad with Rosemary Pecans
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
Apple Chicken Salad:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts (approximately 1 lb.)
- 4-6 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 apples, cored and chopped (do not peel)
- 1 cup of celery, chopped
- 1/3 cup of golden raisins
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- bed of lettuce of flaky croissant, for serving
Preheat oven to 350º. Place butter on a pizza pan in the oven and allow to melt while oven preheats. Remove pizza pan from oven when butter is melted and spread pecans on the pan; stir to coat pecans with butter then sprinkle seasoned salt and rosemary over pecans. Bake 7 to 10 minutes in preheated oven; remove from oven, stir and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place chicken breasts in pan and sear 5 to 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Add thyme and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in apple cider, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low; poach chicken for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through (liquid will barely bubble while poaching but should not be boiling).
Remove chicken from pan, increase heat to high and boil liquid about 10 minutes until reduced to 1/2 cup; strain into a bowl and allow liquid to cool. Shred chicken after it has cooled.
Mix shredded chicken, apples, celery, raisins, mayonnaise, strained apple cider mixture, sugar, rosemary, seasoned salt, salt and pepper until well blended. Fold in 1/2 cup rosemary pecans.
Sprinkle remaining pecans on top of salad before serving and serve on a flaky croissant or over a bed of lettuce.