In my head I make up awesome recipes all the time from unheard of combinations. Then I turn to the internet and realize a lot of other people had the same awesome idea way before it popped into my head. As my ex used to say, Great minds think like mine. (This is the more egotistical version of great minds think alike.)
This recipe for chicken salad sandwiches was inspired by the kick@ss guacamole I’ve been known to make (and share with friends – but apparently I have yet to blog it!). With tomatoes ripening every day, I’m constantly looking for ways to use up my tomatoes. Guacamole is one of my go-to foods. But I also have some leftover chicken in my freezer from when I made Slow-cooked Whole Chicken. (Which was particularly awesome, I should mention.) So I figured I could combine the two in an attempt to make a healthier chicken salad sandwich.
Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m not usually the most health-conscious chef. (Though I’m beginning to slowly turn over a new leaf and try better-for-you foods.) Why did I want a healthier chicken salad sandwich?
My dad looked at me a little bit sideways when I suggested making chicken salad sandwiches with the healthy bread he brought into my kitchen this morning. But I couldn’t tell if it was because he doesn’t like chicken salad sandwiches in general or wasn’t thrilled about a fat-laden sandwich. When I mentioned my idea to use primarily avocado instead of mayo in chicken salad, his first words were, That sounds a lot healthier. So there you have it.
It turns out that I am not the first person to want to make chicken salad healthier (by adding avocado). Nor am I the first person to want to cross guacamole with chicken.
- 3 c. shredded or chopped chicken (I like a combination of both)
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Serrano peppers, minced
- 1/4 c. chopped red onion
- 1/4 c. cilantro
- 1/4 c. lemon or lime juice (preferably lime)
- 1/4 c. cilantro
- 1 to 2 T. fresh oregano
- 1/4 c. mayo
- 1/4 c. plain yogurt
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
Make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in your food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Mix all salad ingredients except for the cubed avocado in a large bowl.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
When you’re ready to serve, gently stir in cubed avocado.
Serve with (fresh from your garden if you have them!) sliced tomatoes in between slices of your favorite bread. Or you can fill a pita pocket or top crackers or flat bread. Actually, it’s so darn good you can eat it straight from the bowl. No regrets.
My dad and I ate our sandwiches on Franz Multi-grain bread that he picked up at New Seasons. But I think this sandwich really ought to be served on a thick, hearty artisan bread. Why? Because you need a sturdy bread that will hold up against the filling of this sandwich. To ensure that our bread didn’t disintegrate, we toasted it. I actually think it’s a good idea to toast your bread no matter what when it comes to chicken salad sandwiches.
Before I chilled the chicken mixture, I did a quick taste test. I knew (just knew) that my dad would love this sandwich. I was right. He did love the sandwich. He loved it so much he volunteered to eat the leftovers for me.
I used lemons in this dish because I didn’t have any limes. In the ingredients I say “preferably lime” because that’s what I use in guacamole. I can’t say I noticed any difference in using the lemon juice. So if you don’t have any limes, lemons are a fine substitute.
There was a lot of cilantro in this dish. I don’t know about you, but I love cilantro. According to my dad, the cilantro is the standout flavor/star ingredient in the dish. I guess if you don’t like cilantro you’ll want to cut down a bit.
I was very full after eating half of my sandwich. I try not to continue eating something as soon as I’m no longer hungry. But I have this rule that if something is
really very good outstanding, I shouldn’t feel bad about eating the entire dish. So even though I was pretty darn full halfway through my sandwich, I persevered until the entire sandwich was down the hatch. I have no regrets about this.