I first made this colorful chicken salad with sliced green olives when I had leftover rotisserie chicken, but since then I've made it three more times, adjusting the recipe a little bit each time to get a combination that seems just right to me. What makes this a hit with green olive lovers is the little bit of green olive brine added to the dressing. The salad has just enough red and green that you could serve it as a Christmas salad, especially if you serve it plated with dishes that bring out the red and green colors in the salad. And if you're getting tired of sweets and want a savory dish for a holiday pot-luck, this might be just the thing.
I've made this twice with leftover rotisserie chicken and once with this shredded chicken from two chicken breasts that I poached in plain water. I prefer the chicken pulled apart rather than cut, although sometimes I cut strips and then pull the strips apart.
The last two times I made this I realized that if I used the larger green olives I could slice them crosswise, and this made the salad look prettier.
Mix together the mayo, green olive brine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, celery seed, and season the dressing with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper. I use a combination of mayo and light mayo to reduce the amount of fat. (This is a one-cup measuring cup, and if you only use 2 cups of chicken you may not need all the dressing.)
Mix together the chicken pieces, celery, and green onions.
Apparently I forgot to take another photo after I gently mixed in the green olives, but here is how the salad looked when it was done. This will keep in the fridge for several days, but you may not have any leftovers!
2-3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite-sized pieces
(you can cook 2 chicken breasts following the instructions below)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks celery)
1 cup large green olives with pimento, sliced into crosswise slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (or less if you're not that fond of green onion)
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup light mayo
2 tsp. green olive brine (liquid from the jar)
2 tsp. fresh or frozen lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. celery seed (optional, but good)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn't use much salt because the olives are salty)
If you're cooking chicken breasts to make this salad, trim all fat and tendons from two chicken breasts, put them in a small pan with enough water to cover, bring to a low simmer and cook about 15 minutes, or until chicken feels firm to the touch. Let chicken cool in the water, then drain.
Use your fingers to shred enough cooked chicken breast to make 2-3 cups. (I like to cut the chicken breasts into long strips and then shred the strips apart.) Slice olives and green onions and chop celery.
Combine mayo, light mayo, green olive brine, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper and use a whisk to mix together.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine chicken pieces, diced celery and sliced green onions. Stir in enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (You may not need all the dressing, especially if you only have 2 cups of chicken pieces.) Then gently fold in green olives, mixing just enough to distribute them among the other ingredients. Serve immediately or chill slightly.
This will keep in the fridge for a few days, although you might not have any leftovers!
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything here is a low-glycemic ingredient, and green olives have much less fat than black ones, so this salad may be more healthful than it seems at first glance. Using all light mayo would be best if you're making this salad for the South Beach Diet, but even with the combination of mayo I used, I think this could be a "once-in-a-while-treat" for any phase of the diet.
More Salad Ideas with Chicken:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Leftover Chicken Chopped Salad with Cafe Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken Salad with Tarragon from Simply Recipes
Waldorf Chicken Salad from Eclectic Recipes
Curried Chicken Salad from Pete Bakes!
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)