Apple Chicken Salad is a step above traditional chicken salad. This simple but tasty salad combines cooked chicken breast, apples, celery, and sweet onion with ranch dressing for a winning combination. The apples give a sweet crunch and are the perfect offset to the tanginess of the ranch dressing. Use as a topper for lettuce greens or as a sandwich filler. Kids love this salad, and the color combination is pleasing to the eye.
I like to save time and effort by using rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store. When selecting a rotisserie chicken, you should think along the lines of “The Three Bears.” Choose one that is not too brown and not too light in color. In other words, a lightly golden roasted chicken is just right. If it is dark brown, the breast meat will be dry, and you definitely do not want a bird that is under-cooked.
I’ve specified Red Delicious apples because they are readily available year-round. They have a beautiful sweet and crunchy texture that works well in this recipe. Of course, you may use your favorite. I also like Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, Ambrosia, Pacifica, and other crunchy apple hybrids in this salad.
Apple Chicken Salad Recipe
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup finely-diced Red Delicious apple
1/4 cup finely-diced celery
1/4 cup finely-diced sweet onions
1/4 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, or your favorite salad fixings
Gently toss chicken breast, apple, celery, sweet onions, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper until well-combined.
Serve with lettuce greens, tomatoes, and olives as a salad or use as a filler for sandwiches on nice artisan rolls.
Yield: 4 servings