Summertime! And Chicken Salad

thekarpiuks - chicken salad recipeToday I welcome my first official full week off of work for summer break. I worked a couple days last week and technically started summer vacation on Wednesday, but this is the first day where I’ve felt like I have no pressing matters to attend to and nothing that I absolutely HAVE to get done. That’s both awesome and a little disconcerting; I don’t sit around and do “nothing” well. However, Liam is turning two this coming weekend, so I can focus all of my creative energies into preparing for his party on Saturday. But let’s go back and look at the important part of that sentence again… “Liam is turning TWO.” How did he get to be two already?! Time seriously flies when you’re having fun, and we sure have fun together. It’s the best part of summer… having so much glorious time off with Liam to do whatever we want to do. Right now I’m watching him scold Lovey in an imaginative play scenario where Lovey (his stuffed monkey blankie) crashed two cars into each other. I can’t make this stuff up.

thekarpiuks - crock pot recipeLiam and I took a trip to the local organic grocery store that opened up the street recently, and all of that fresh, beautiful produce and meat has inspired me to cook all kinds of new dishes this past week. From homemade chicken salad to slow cooker pork chops, we’ve been trying all the things! The flavor of the pork chops came out okay, but somehow pork always turns out a little drier than I’d like. But the chicken salad… oh man, it came out good. I just kind of made it up as I went along, and the “recipe” went a little something like this:

Karpiuk Summertime Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I got 4, but only used 3)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup of grapes (ours were red, but if you’re fancy you could go red AND green)
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • salt, lemon pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Directions:

thekarpiuks - chicken salad recipeI boiled all 4 chicken breasts in a large pot of boiling water on the stove. This took about 12 minutes, which was enough time to prep all of the other ingredients and have them ready to go. I mentioned that I only used 3 of the 4 breasts in the chicken salad, but I went ahead and cooked up all 4 because the 4th piece was shredded and set aside for dinner that night on homemade pizza!

In a large mixing bowl while the chicken is cooking, combine mayo, yogurt, and chopped green onion. Sprinkle in some salt, lemon pepper, and garlic powder. Stir it up really well. Slice the grapes in half width-wise (or length-wise, I suppose, if you’re feeling rebellious!) and add them to the “sauce” in the bowl while you wait for the chicken.

thekarpiuks - crock pot recipeWhen the chicken is cooked through thoroughly, use two forks to shred it up. Add it to the bowl, and stir gently to completely coat the chicken with your sauce. Depending on the amount of chicken you use and/or your personal preference about how “wet” you like your chicken salad to be, now’s the time to add another spoonful of plain yogurt if needed. Give your chicken salad a bite and test the seasoning; add additional salt, lemon pepper, or garlic powder to taste. Delicious? Yes!

I know that you traditionally find celery in most chicken salad recipes, but I’m not a big fan of its texture so it was conveniently omitted. If the grapes aren’t enough, you could always add in some coarsely chopped walnuts for crunch. (Or just add some chopped celery to your variation if you’re missing it!) I think lemon pepper adds a brightness to the chicken salad that you’re going to love!

Well, back to playing cars with Liam and birthday party prep. Happy summer!