If you love rotisserie chicken, you have found the right recipe for the perfect chicken salad. Using rotisserie chicken makes this recipe incredibly simple and absolutely packed full of flavor. There are a couple little tricks to this recipe... so take a minute and check it out!
This rotisserie chicken salad recipe is gluten free, paleo, low carb and wonderfully delicious.
THE BEST ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SALAD
If you think about it, rotisserie chicken is one of the most primal methods to prepare chicken. It was once called spit roasting and took a lot of time and effort. Just think about it for a second... First you have to catch your chicken and clean it. Then make a fire pit with a spit that won't burn during the hour or two the bird takes to cook. Collect some firewood, light the fire and wait for some coals. Up next is cooking the chicken to its juicy perfection that can only be achieved through spit roasting. It was a lot of work. Now fast forward a millennium and you can just pick up a wonderful rotisserie chicken at the grocery store just about any time of the day. Super convenient, that's for sure.
In France (where I am at for the next year or so) they take rotisserie chicken seriously. Here it is called Poulet Roti. Although it is sold at the grocery store, the best chickens are only available at the marche (open air markets) where there will be at least one Poulet Roti stand, if not 3-5 of them dependent on the size of the market. Many will offer local chickens of different sizes, ranging from about $10 to $18 a chicken. It seems as though $18 might be a lot to pay for a chicken, but I will stand my ground firmly when I say that the large Black Foot chicken is the best rotisserie chicken I have ever encountered. Truly delicious. For this chicken salad recipe, I used a standard poulet roti.
To make the best chicken salad, make sure that you get a good bird. Don't hesitate to ask the butcher or the prepared foods person if the chicken is organic or free range. The saying is true: better ingredients make better food. Also, look at the chicken before you buy it. If it looks overcooked and dry, that is how your chicken salad will turn out. Look in the bottom of the package and see if there is any juice... we want that juice for flavor. Avoid any chickens that have been pre-seasoned or dressed in BBQ sauce. We are only looking for a really good chicken.
CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE
You will find that this chicken salad recipe is very straightforward. We try to find the best chicken we can. Then we will remove all the meat, discarding bones and cartilage. After that, we are going to add in some crisp, fresh vegetables to give some needed crunch and complimentary flavors. Finally, we add in some fat (mayo) and some acid with the mustard. The salt and pepper provide some balance. That's it. No need for anything else.
Please be sure to give yourself enough time to allow the chicken to cool from the store before handling. I can typically handle very hot items with ease, but find that my fingers really take a beating around the breast meat if I try to shred the chicken right when I get home from the store. You can use tongs or forks, but you'll have some loss and will not be sure that all the bones and cartilage have been removed.
Again, you will need more time at the end of the recipe to allow the completed chicken salad to cool. As I explain in the recipe, you can have your chicken salad chill out in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Then, for the finishing touch, squeeze the lemon over the whole batch just before serving. Mix well and enjoy.
QUICK COOKING TIP: Don't toss the juice that comes with the chicken! That is the most flavorful part and needs to be added to the recipe. I like to pour about ¼ cup of the juice in the bottom of the bowl where the shredded chicken will go. Start shredding the breast meat first and allow it to soak up all the juice. If you see the juice has disappeared, add in a bit more... but not too much otherwise your chicken salad will be a little loose.
Ok- let's get into this delicious rotisserie chicken salad recipe.
Please Note: The nutrition information may not be 100% accurate. It is provided by Nutrifox. For this recipe, I could not find the nutritional data for a “rotisserie chicken” so I used the data for 2 legs, 2 thighs and 2 chicken breasts..
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE:
I make this chicken salad recipe weekly for my family in the summer. Truth be told, I make a lot of salads around our house. The family loves my low-carb tuna salad recipe and delicious egg salad recipe too. My kids love using lettuce wraps for a delightfully fresh lunch option. My daughter loves eating the tuna salad and this chicken salad with salt and vinegar chips. She finds the big chips and uses another chip to load on the salad. No need for wraps or even silverware. Brilliant. I have to say that it is one of my favorite ways to eat it as well.
If you're a fan of more onion flavor in your chicken salad, go ahead and increase the amount of shallots to about ½ cup. Let the salad rest in the refrigerator overnight. You'll find that the shallots mellow into a blissfully delicious concoction. This was a happy mistake I found out several years ago... and sometimes repeat when I have enough time. If you're going to let this chicken salad chill overnight, make sure it is hidden in the depths of the refrigerator... everyone will want a bite!
I hope that you enjoy this chicken salad as much as we do. Happy eating!
PLEASE NOTE: The nutritional data is provided by NutriFox and may not be 100% accurate.