Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recipe Favorites: Chicken Salad with Basil and Parmesan

Chicken Salad with Basil and Parmesan(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites July 2009) This slightly different twist on chicken salad is something you should make when you have lots of basil in your garden, because through the years I've learned you just can't put too much chopped basil in this salad. I first made this years ago and really liked the recipe, but hadn't gotten around to taking a photo until recently when a reader left a comment saying they'd love to see a picture of it. Even though this kind of dish is a food photographer's worst nightmare, I aim to please, so I made it recently for my mayonnaise-loving dad and did my best at taking pictures!

Whenever I update these recipes from the early days of the blog, I realize how my way of making familiar recipes evolves through the years. I'd definitely make this with half regular and half light mayo now, and I even think fat-free Greek Yogurt mixed with mayo would be good for the dressing. I'd also use a lot more basil and green onions than the original recipe, so I'll give those options in the recipe. I usually make this with chicken breasts cooked in stock or chicken broth, but this would be the perfect thing to make when you have leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge.

A photo of diced chicken? My point is that the chicken pieces need to be all close to the same size for a salad like this. I cut my pieces about 3/4 inch square.

Chop up a generous amount of basil if you have it in your garden. If you don't have a garden, you can get by with less basil, but really, the more basil the better!

Mix mayo, green onions, grated Parmesan cheese, and basil. I most often use half mayo and half light mayo when I make this, but if anyone tries it with Greek Yogurt plus mayo, I'd love to hear how it turns out.

Combine the diced chicken with the mayo-basil mixture, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and the salad is done.


Chicken Salad with Basil and Parmesan
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted from one that appeared on the Best Foods site.)

Ingredients:
4 cups diced cooked chicken, cut in 3/4 inch pieces
(use leftover cooked chicken or see below for recommended method to cook chicken breasts, you need 4 chicken breasts to get 4 cups diced chicken)
1/3 cup sliced green onion (or more, I used about 1/2 cup green onion)
3 T. grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese (original recipe said "or more" but I only used this amount)
2 T. finely chopped fresh basil (or more, I used about 1/3 cup chopped basil)
1 cup Best Foods mayo (I used half regular mayo and half light mayo, if you're not overly fond of mayo, use 3/4 cup)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
If you're cooking chicken for this, trim visible fat from 4 chicken breasts, then place in medium sized saucepan. Add water to cover chicken, add 1-2 T chicken base and 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning, and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer 20-25 minutes, then cool chicken. (I saved the liquid in the freezer to add when I'm making chicken stock.)

Dice chicken into pieces about 3/4 inch square and place into medium-sized bowl.

Combine mayo, green onion, Parmesan, and basil. Add chicken and mix until chicken is well coated with dressing. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. This can be served immediately or chilled slightly before serving.

This is also good as a sandwich filling on 100% whole wheat bread or inside whole wheat pita bread.


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South Beach Suggestions:
This is made with all low-glycemic ingredients, but if you make it with full-fat mayo, it's probably best considered a "once in a while treat" for the South Beach Diet.

More Ideas for Chicken Salad with Mayo
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chicken Salad with Fresh Tarragon and Peas from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken and Shredded Cabbage Salad with Mustard and Celery Seed from Kalyn's Kitchen
Kalyn and Mimi's Chicken Salad with Mustard and Cashews from Kalyn's Kitchen
Contessa Chicken Salad from Erin Cooks
Smoked Chicken, Mango, and Mayonnaise Salad from Greedy Gourmet
The Best Chicken Salad from Alice Q. Foodie
Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts from Chaos in the Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipes.
Mr. Quist

karina said...

This looked so good - I snagged it for a post. Thanks, Dear! ;-)

joyandpain said...

This sounds great. I'm going to try it. Maybe you could make it again and post a picture?

Kalyn said...

Joyandpain, I'm updating the old recipes without photos as fast as I can! This one is on the list.

Amanda said...

thank you, this looks really good :) I've just been diagnosed with early diabetes so I've been thrust into eating better. I'll save this recipe to try!

Frieda said...

Thanks for another recipe to use basil! I have 3 small plants in my yard...I appreciated your basil post from earlier, too!

Meghan said...

This looks so delicious! I love chicken salad but never thought to put in fresh basil. I have an abundance of basil on my balcony!!! That's a great idea to sub some ff Greak yogurt for the mayo!

maris said...

Yum! This is a nice change from the typical walnut-cranberry-apple chicken salad recipe. Which I love! But it's nice to see another variation.

Kalyn said...

Amanda, this should be very diabetes friendly.

Frieda, I love basil, so this is perfect for me. Isn't it fun to grow!

Meghan, an abundance of basil is a wonderful thing, and this is a good way to use some of it. Let me know if you try it with the yogurt; I'm thinking it will be good!

Maris, thanks! Cranberry, apple, chicken salad sounds great too.

Amy Green said...

That's how I chop my chicken when I make chicken salad. I'd like to say that I was naturally inclined to do so but the truth is I saw Barefoot Contessa do it on t.v. She makes a mean chicken salad.

I agree about the basil - we have more that we can use so I've been putting it in everything and it is so good. The other day I read about how you oven roasted mushrooms and I did it but used different herbs...it was so good. :)

Elenka said...

As soon as the basil in my garden is more than a half inch tall, I can try this recipe!! Patience.....

Lisa said...

Kalyn, this looks great and I must try it when my basil plant gets a bit bigger. My Thai basil is going nuts, but the Italian basil is lagging behind. Thanks for the recipe.

Kalyn said...

Amy, I confess I'm just a bit obsessed with cutting things the same size ever since I took a Chinese cooking class and learned about "symmetry of cut" but I do think it makes a difference. No doubt that BC makes a great chicken salad! Glad you liked the roasted mushrooms.

Elenka, it will grow. When it does, be sure to trim regularly.

Lisa, I never did get any Thai basil planted this year, it's been a weird garden year around here.

katie said...

Thanks for the link! I have been really enjoying stepping out of my chicken salad comfort zone and trying new and different combinations. I am trying to get my little herb garden to grow so I can have limit-less herbs available when I want to make recipes like this.

Kalyn said...

Katie, loved the sound of your salad with cranberries and walnuts (and then in one of the comments Maris gave me the idea of adding apples to it too, which also sounds good.) Limitless herbs is a wonderful thing. Not sure if I have completely achieved it, but I do have a healthy herb garden!

Anonymous said...

I just may try this!
I have been searching for your chicken salad with walnuts and cranberries, but can't find it anywhere!! Could you possibly email it to me?? I'd be so grateful!
Thanks...


Nancy
nhd106@aol.com

Kalyn said...

Nancy, I don't have a recipe for chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts; it's one of the links in this post.

Cookin' Canuck said...

This is my kind of chicken salad! It's a good thing I have plenty of basil in my garden.

Joanne said...

This sounds like it takes regular old chicken salad to a whole new level. Excellent!

Elenka said...

Kalyn, you just told me to trim my basil regularly. Can you tell me exactly what you mean by that? (I feel so stupid, I've been growing the stuff for years. Mostly have trouble with something putting holes in it....)

Kalyn said...

I mean that when the plant gets large leaves at the end of the stems (and especially it it's in the beginning stages of making flowers) you should trim that stem (leaving some leaves on at the bottom.) Then the basil will make two stalks where you trimmed, producing even more leaves. You can see how I trim my basil and read about freezing it in my post about How to Freeze Fresh Basil. It will really make a difference in how much basil your plants produce in a year.

Katerina said...

I can totally taste this stuffed in a WW pita!

Kalyn said...

Katerina, I did eat some that way and it was great!

spanishamada said...

I just made it with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Delish!

Amy said...

Made this for dinner tonight! It was delicious. I had it as a salad, and my husband had a sandwich. He loved it too!
Thanks.........

Kalyn said...

Spanishamada, thanks so much for letting me know. Now I want to try it that way myself.

Amy, thanks! So glad to hear you liked it. (That's just how my dad and I ate it too, sandwich for him and salad for me.)

Cristie said...

I love chicken salad and find it's a terrific way to turn left-over chicken into a tasty lunch or supper. I just tried a new chicken-salad recipe that uses gorgonzola cheese and basil. At first the strong gorgonzola taste was surprising but within a few bites I couldn't stop eating it. I agree with you, cheese, basil and chicken make a winning salad. Thanks for the post.

Kalyn said...

Cristie, love the idea of using gorgonzola! Sounds great.

oneshotbeyond said...

those ingredients make so much sense to me!

Melissa said...

This sounds delicious...I'll have to try it! I generally make my chicken salad with crushed red pepper flakes for seasoning, as well as a teensy bit of salt and pepper, then use a lowfat vegan mayo, thinly sliced celery, a touch of coarse and spicy honey mustard, and tons of chopped red grapes for a taste of sweetness to counteract the spicy!

Kay said...

Oh come on, you *know* mayo is supposed to be mixed with yogurt/Greek yogurt :)

Love the idea of adding basil. Still have a lot of basil in the back yard, gonna give this one a try!

Valerie said...

I love fresh basil and am looking forward to using it in this recipe next time I grab some. It looks so simple.

Gwen said...

I made this for lunch, with basil and onion from my garden, and it was the best chicken salad I've ever had! Thanks so much for sharing this.

Kalyn said...

Gwen, thanks for letting me know you tried it and liked it. This is one of my favorites for leftover chicken.

gsrgrl023 said...

so simple, but so delish. i'm having this for lunch today on top of some greens since i'm still on phase 1. i can't wait to try it with whole wheat pita bread tho.

Kalyn said...

Glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes.

Wendy P said...

I made this last night. It is so delicious!!!

I've pinned it so others will give it a try too.

vbirchak30 said...

Do any weight watchers know how many points this would be per serving??? Thx

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