Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Avocado Chicken Salad


This chicken salad recipe is adapted from one by my friend Mike.  It is easy, delicious, and a definite crowd-pleaser!  The avocado is the perfect simple, creamy alternative to mayo or dressing on a traditional chicken salad.

A few tips on buying and using avocados:
You have a few options when buying avocados.  You can buy avocados that are very hard when you squeeze them.  Store on the counter until they give a little when you squeeze them but are not at all mushy.  Then, either refrigerate them (for up to 4-5 days in my experience) OR use them right away.  You could also just buy avocados that give a little when you squeeze them but are not mushy.  Then refrigerate them for up to 4-5 days or use them right away.  I find the easiest way to cut up an avocado is to slice it longways down the middle, rotating the knife around the pit.  Then remove the pit with your fingers.  Hold one half of the avocado in the palm of your hand and (with a butter knife), score the avocado down to the skin in one direction and then again in a perpendicular direction.  Then use the knife to pop the chunks you have created out of the avocado skin.  Avocados are a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your meals.  I love to eat them in this salad, alongside eggs, mixed with salsa as a "dip" for raw vegetables, or in guacamole.

Avocado Chicken Salad

Adapted from Mike Lassak

2 lb chicken breasts or thighs
4 avocados
¼ cup lime juice
8 ribs celery, diced
6 green onions, diced
1 c dried cranberries

Prepare chicken however you would like- bake, sauté, grill, etc.  You could also shred up a rotisserie chicken.  Whichever way you choose, just make sure you have about 2 lb. of meat.  (We like to bake 1 bag of Trader Joe’s chicken breasts or thighs and then cut it up to use in the salad).  Cut up chicken and set aside.  Mash up 4 avocados.  Squeeze about ¼ cup lime juice (fresh or bottled) and a liberal amount of salt and pepper onto the avocados.  Dice 8 ribs of celery and 6 green onions, then add that to the avocados.  Then add 1 cup of dried cranberries.  Next add the chopped up chicken.  Stir everything well and refrigerate before serving.  This keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days but tastes best when eaten within a day of making it.  

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