Chicken Salad Exotique

During the halcyon days of department store tearooms, the basic makings of this staple took an adventurous turn. The change was duly noted in community cookbooks. Here, we re-create four cosmopolitan favorites to pair with our Summer Sangria Salad.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Recipe from Southern Living

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 4 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 cups halved seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preparation

  1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in chicken and next 2 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill 3 hours. Stir in almonds just before serving.
  2. Curried Chicken Salad: Omit shallots, tarragon, grapes, and almonds. Whisk 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger, and 2 tsp. curry powder into mayonnaise mixture. Stir 3/4 cup each golden raisins and diced yellow bell pepper into chicken mixture. Stir in 3/4 cup toasted sweetened flaked coconut and top with 1/2 cup chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts just before serving.
  3. Poppy Seed Chicken Salad: Omit tarragon and grapes. Whisk 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, 1 Tbsp. orange zest, 3 Tbsp. honey, and 1 tsp. poppy seeds into mayonnaise mixture. Stir 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries into chicken mixture. Stir in 1 cup chopped toasted pecans just before serving.
  4. Mango Chicken Salad: Omit shallots, tarragon, grapes, and almonds. Whisk 1/4 cup diced red onion; 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced; 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro; and 1 Tbsp. lime zest into mayonnaise mixture. Stir 1 1/2 cups diced fresh mango into chicken mixture just before serving.
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