Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Spiced Pecans

photography Amy Albertson
Squeezing lemon juice on the apples to keep them from turning

photography Amy Albertson
Plochman’s. My favorite mustard as you all know!

photography Amy Albertson
Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy Pecans! Great for cheese platters too!

photography Amy Albertson
The dried cherries I use. You can use another brand if you wish
If you are having a hard time finding dried cherries you can
substitute cranberries or another dried fruit.

photography Amy Albertson
The finished product. I like the look of it with fresh parsley
but you can easily make it without.


Recipes grow and evolve. Originally we made this salad with roasted pecans. Then we started using the spiced pecans. I often make my own spiced pecans when I cater because I need such a large volume. But these Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy Pecans are almost IDENTICAL to the ones I make and you don’t have to worry about the nuts burning, etc. If you want to just use regular toasted pecans you are welcome too.


I most often make this recipe the day after we’ve had roast chicken for dinner. I always make two whole chicken so I have enough leftover for salad. I know a lot of people have made the original recipe that only called for two cups of cooked chicken. But I found that if I take all the meat from an entire roast chicken I get four cups. Some people like to buy the roasted chickens that are cooked and ready to go from the market. I like to make my own. If you are someone who prefers only breast meat than you can gently poach chicken breasts with the French technique of cooking them covered in milk in the oven. You can also use Coconut Milk to do this. (I will write a separate recipe when I post the recipe for Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce.)

I also think it looks prettier to leave the skin on the apples so I usually do that. I like Fuji or Braeburn apples but you can use your favorite.

CHICKEN SALAD WITH DRIED CHERRIES AND ROASTED PECANS

4 cups cooked chicken
3 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and chopped
1 cup dried cherries
1 apple, skin left on, core removed, diced
Squeeze of lemon on apple
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grainy mustard, (I use Plochman’s)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup chopped pecans (I use Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy)
1 bunch flat-leaf Italian Parsley chopped, (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and combine well. Can be made the day in advance. If you are making it in advance then wait to add the pecans until an hour before serving so they will be as crunchy as possible. Taste again and add more salt and lemon juice if necessary.

For those who preferred the original version with 2 cups of chicken basically half all of these ingredients (i.e. 2 cups of cooked chicken, 1 1/2 stalks celery, 1/2 cups of cherries, etc. But use 3 tablespoons mayo and use 1 tablespoon mustard.)

Maili Halme Brocke