Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

I like to think I'm good with words. But I'm just not sure.

Yeah, I like to write, which would seem to imply it. But the thing is, with writing I can edit at any time.

Spoken words can be confusing.

Sometimes I just don't express myself well. Does that ever happen to you?

Like I was reading the other day at a childbirth class that when labor is approaching, a woman's "demeanor" changes. And I was like, "What does that mean?" wondering like, she gets angry? Sad? What?

And the teacher patiently starts explaining the meaning of the word "demeanor".

Or like when I was at the doctor's office and was like, "My arm has really been itching this week!" Awkward pause while doctor waits for me to continue, in which I panic and go in two directions at once, rolling up my sleeve to show her while explaining that, "It's gone now though."

"I don't see anything."

"Well, you know. It's...gone now."

Sometimes people give me a hard time outright. The kid I nanny (five years old) loves to follow up every sentence with a long, drawn-out "DUH!"

Smart mouth.

That is why I like cooking. Or one reason, anyway. Because when I cook, sometimes I get things right. Sometimes things are put together in such a simple, step-by-step way it's impossible for me to get them wrong.

This chicken salad is one of those type things.

You may notice that there are more pictures in this post than usual. This is because the neurotic part of me got a huge kick out of photographing the gradual addition of ingredients.

Then seeing them whipped together into a glorious frenzy at the end. Hope you enjoy that too.

Beware - it's filling. My whole-pizza-gobbling husband got full after one sandwich on a ciabatta roll of this stuff.

Hooray! I always count it as a personal triumph when I make things that actually make him full.

It's one of those summery crowd-pleasers, you know? Whether your crowd is your own home and family, or a big barbecue potluck (although you might want to be careful taking the spotlight off the barbecue).

Make it and enjoy.

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad (adapted from Smitten Kitchen...she is my favorite lately, have you noticed?)

This salad is so tasty it can be eaten all by itself from a bowl. I of course prefer it on a really nice bread like ciabatta or sourdough. But really, it is adaptable!

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

4 cups cubed (1/2 inch) cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 lb)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 celery rib, diced into small bits (1 cup)
2 or more tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons vinegar (herb vinegar is particularly nice, but plain old white will do)
3 teaspoons dried herbs of your choice (I recommend tarragon and thyme - 2 tablespoons of fresh would also do the trick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Really complicated directions: Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well.

Eat on a bun, atop romaine lettuce, with pita chips, or straight from the bowl.


Kris Ngoei said...

Love the addition of cranberries into the chicken salad, they definitely enhance the flavor and look delicious overall.

Cakebrain said...

I can imagine how this tastes! Yum! I luv chicken salad! Though I talk for a living, I too think I'm a better writer than a speaker. However, as a writer, I tend to be verbose! ;p
That's why I like doing food porn... pictures round out what you're trying to say. I think I could eat this salad naked...that is, without bread! (see what I mean?) Ha ha! :)

anne said...

It looks drool worthy :D

LynnieBee said...

*empathy* I know exactly how you feel, and this looks delish :)

a. maren said...

thanks guys! mmm yes cakebrain, nothing like food porn. drool.

jeannesioux said...

Your husband is very lucky to have meals like the ones you make!!!

This sandwich is the best.

OfBaking said...

I'm a vegetarian and STILL this looks amazing! I wonder what I could use in place of chicken... Maybe red potatoes!! :)

Shu Juan said...

Looks delicious! :D Thanks for sharing the recipe! Love it!