Recipes » Salad Recipes » Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad

Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad

| | |
5 from 1 vote
A traditional chicken salad with the addition of toasted pecans for extra depth of flavor.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad A traditional chicken salad with the addition of toasted pecans for extra depth of flavor. https://www.lanascooking.com/toasted-pecan-chicken-salad/

Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad – A traditional chicken salad with the addition of toasted pecans for extra depth of flavor.

It’s been a really hot summer here in Georgia. Hot temperatures and high humidity, too. It seems like I haven’t been cooking as much as usual, either. I just realized that I’ve only posted one actual recipe since the end of July! That must change and quickly! This is a food blog after all.

Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad A traditional chicken salad with the addition of toasted pecans for extra depth of flavor. https://www.lanascooking.com/toasted-pecan-chicken-salad/

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog and ways I can improve it. I’ve realized that I need to re-focus on what I know and do best – southern food. The problem, I think, is that I really like to try all kinds of foods and then I get excited and want to share those with my readers.

I tend to let my focus wander a bit. I’ll do a little Italian something, then I’ll do a little Mexican something, but I need to get back to our wonderful southern cuisine. Starting right now!

Chicken salad is such a staple of southern cuisine. You see it on practically every menu in every southern restaurant. It’s present at nearly every celebratory occasion, wedding shower, and baby shower. It makes a great sandwich for a picnic, or stands on its own for the salad course.

Here’s the thing about chicken salad – there really is no recipe for it. Everybody makes it a little differently and you have to use your cook’s judgment when adding the ingredients because the measurements are different every time.

Two things that make my chicken salad different are the roasting of the chicken and the addition of toasted pecans. Roasting the chicken gives a richer flavor than the traditional poached chicken meat and the pecans lend an additional texture and taste that is quite nice.

How to Make Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad

Preheat oven to 350.

Chicken on a baking sheet.

Line a roasting tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the chicken on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Place breasts skin side up in a preheated oven and cook until chicken is done all the way through. It will take anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to sit until it’s cool enough to handle.

Preparing pecans for toasting.

After removing the chicken from the oven, put the butter into a small baking pan and place the pan in the oven until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the oven and add the pecans, stirring to coat them well with the butter. Cook until the pecans are toasted – about 5-6 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and set aside.

Chopping and shredding cooked chicken.

When the chicken has cooled, remove the meat from the skin and bones, shredding it some with your fingers as you go. Discard the skin and bones.

Chop the chicken into small pieces. I like the chicken chopped fairly fine, but not so fine that you would think it was ground. Just a nice small dice.

Chicken, pecans, and celery in a mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped chicken, toasted pecans and celery.

Chicken salad mix in a bowl.

Add the mayonnaise starting with 3/4 cup and adding more as you feel the mixture needs. The chicken breasts I used this time were really large. The four of them made about 8 cups of chopped chicken.

I started with 3/4 cup mayonnaise but by the time I was finished I had added at least that much more. You just have to use your judgment as to the amount you need. Keep mixing and tasting until you think it’s right. You may also need to add more celery. It just depends on your personal preference. Be sure to give it a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Lots of Options

Optional: 1 cup of halved red grapes may be added. If I had been making this for just myself or for a party, I would have added the grapes. But since BeeBop doesn’t like fruit in his chicken salad I left them out. It’s great either way!

My favorite way to have chicken salad is mounded on a lettuce leaf accompanied with fruit (my favorites are red grapes and cantaloupe – just a great taste combination with the chicken salad), sliced ripe tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper, and crackers.

For a party, you can make chicken salad finger sandwiches. Remove the crusts from your bread, add the salad and cut into four pieces. For a tea or luncheon, serve the chicken salad in puff pastry shells. So many options!

More Recipes You’ll Like

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
AND REMEMBER TO SIGN UP FOR MY FACEBOOK GROUP.
If you’d like to hang out with me and lots of other online Southern Comfort Food lovers, make sure to join my FREE PRIVATE Facebook group.

Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad A traditional chicken salad with the addition of toasted pecans for extra depth of flavor. https://www.lanascooking.com/toasted-pecan-chicken-salad/

Toasted Pecan Chicken Salad

A traditional chicken salad with the addition of toasted pecans for extra depth of flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Text It
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts skin-on, bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons butter
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • 3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (may need more)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line a roasting tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drizzle chicken on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place breasts skin side up in preheated oven and cook until chicken is done all the way through. Approximately 35-50 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit until chicken is cool enough to handle.
  • After removing the chicken from the oven, put the butter into a small baking pan and place the pan in the oven until the butter melts.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and add the pecans stirring to coat them well with the butter. Cook until the pecans are toasted – about 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove pecans from the oven and set aside.
  • Take chicken off the bone, shredding it some with your fingers as you go. Discard the skin and bones. Chop chicken into small pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, toasted pecans and celery. Add the mayonnaise starting with 3/4 cup and adding more as you feel the mixture needs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Optional: 1 cup of halved red grapes may be added.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 358mg | Potassium: 491mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

Share on Facebook Pin Recipe
Tried this recipe? Pin it for Later!Follow @LanasCookingBlog or tag #LanasCooking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




32 Comments

  1. I was born and raised in South Georgia too. I make Chicken Salad like my Mother did and it is very much like yours. However, as she did, I put an apple peeled and chopped in mine. Also, this Chicken Salad on a croissant with some lightly toasted sliced almonds included is good too.

  2. I just found this recipe while looking for a good chicken salad. Made it for a work birthday party. It was a hit. Added chopped green onions as well. This is awesome!