I love chicken salad for lunch. I always set out to only have one sandwich, but I usually end up finishing however much I make. Consequently, I make smaller batches now. :) I don't follow a recipe for this, because I've found that I know my own taste best, and I like to adjust it each time I make it to what I want at the time. (Many thanks to Hubby for taking most of these pictures!)
Chicken (I've made this with fresh cooked chicken, but this time I use canned. I prefer the fresh though...)
Grapes (I prefer red grapes, but any kind will do)
Green Onions (Usually I use chopped white or red onion, but I had some green I needed to use, and it works just as well, though I put a bit more than I would of the chopped onion.)
Dill Weed (This is the only one of the spices that remains constant...I love dill weed in chicken salad!)
Black Pepper (not pictured...last minute impulse add)
First, dump your chicken into a medium sized mixing bowl. (Drain it first, if you're using canned.) Canned chicken doesn't always look so pretty coming out of the can, but unless stated otherwise, it is cooked and quite edible. :)
Slice the grapes into the bowl. I like to simply halve them, but if you want, you can cut them as small as you like. Whenever you do, be sure to cut slowly so the knife doesn't slip.
As grapes aren't exactly in season now, raisins do make an excellent substitute, if you don't mind the change in texture.
Next slice your onions and sprinkle them into the bowl, sparingly. Onion is one flavor that will get stronger in this salad if you plan to store any of it overnight. Much stronger.
Dice your celery to preferred size. I like mine fairly small, so I slice in strips first, then cut crosswise.
Same goes for slicing the apples. I usually use a sweeter apple, such as a Gala, or a Pink Lady (my favorite!) but I had Granny Smiths on hand for baking, so they were subbed in.
Next, add your spices. I usually go by scent on this one. You want your food to smell good, or you'll have a hard time believing it tastes good; nothing should smell overpowering, but it should smell like more than just your onion. Have fun with this. Open random spice jars, ones you don't usually use, and just see what they smell like. If it smells good, dump a little bit in. A bit of advice though...decide on all your spices before dumping in. Some spices don't mix well. (Think mint, cayenne, and fennel. Blech. Then again, if you like it...)
After all your other ingredients are mixed together, add your mayo. I like to add it last because I think it coats more evenly that way. Start with a little bit, and increase the amount to desired consistency. Its easy to get too much, so be careful!
Once all your ingredients are together, mix it up, and you're ready to eat! If you want more potent flavors, let the chicken salad marry in the fridge for a bit first (a few hours at least) and everything will be a bit more flavorful.
I couldn't wait, though.