Easy Smoked Chicken Salad

I love it when culinary inspiration strikes. Especially while I’m standing in front of the open refrigerator, wondering what on earth (or in the fridge) I’m going to make for dinner. Last night, I was doing just that, staring at leftovers containers that held mysterious and fuzzy things (it’s my husband’s job to deal with those). I was thinking all was lost when I saw the smoked chicken my husband had made the day before. Then my eyes darted to the mayo and mustard, to the pecans and walnuts I had toasted earlier and to my garden with lettuce greens basking in the late afternoon sun. This is what came of that inspiration. Wing it on all of these ingredients because you know how “mayonnaissy,” “mustardy” or nutty you like things! (Yes, those are words if I say they are!)

Chicken Salad
Sa-mokin’! This flavorful chicken salad can be eaten a variety of ways and with many variations of ingredients.

Ingredients:

Smoked (or baked, grilled, sauteed, rotisserie or fried) chicken
Mayonnaise
Mustard (whatever kind you like – yellow, Dijon or grainy)
Chopped and toasted pecans and/or walnuts

Chicken Salad
Four-ingredient-yumminess!

Method:
Dice the chicken into small, bite-size pieces. If you’re planning on putting it in a sandwich, dice it a little smaller to help it stay together and to make it easier for little hands and mouths to eat.

In a bowl, combine the chicken and enough mayonnaise and mustard to suit your taste and level of creaminess. Start with a little, then taste. I like only enough to add some zing and creaminess but not gloppiness, so I add just a little at a time until it’s the consistency I want. You can always add more mayo but it’s a problem if you have added too much. Yes, I can hear people out there saying “Too much mayo is NEVER a problem.” I feel that way about bacon. And chocolate.

Now, add the nuts to taste and mix it around to distribute the nuts throughout the chicken.

Chicken Salad
Be sure to combine the chicken with the mayonnaise and mustard before adding any other ingredients to make sure the chicken gets the creamy coating.

Variations:
Add diced red onion, grape halves, cherry tomato halves, blue cheese, bacon, diced celery or anything else you think would taste good – but not all of those things all together. That might be a bit much.

Serving suggestions:
I spooned mine over greens from my garden and didn’t even need a salad dressing because of the creaminess of the chicken. But you could also make a sandwich with some sturdy bread, slices of tomato and red onion with lettuce or just spoon it over crackers.

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