I must admit that until I made this chicken salad, my homemade chicken salad was nothing to brag about.

My local grocer made much better chicken salad than me… UGH!

Oh, but how things have changed!!! I now join the ranks of culinary mavens who make good chicken salad!

Here’s how I do it…

I called on my favorite cooking celebrities to see how they made such great chicken salad… Martha, Ina and  Anne (as in Burrell).

I chose INA’S method for cooking chicken… some of  MARTHA’S add ins … and ANNE’S sassy love of cooking (“Look at you, beautiful chickens!”)!

I am not a fan of all the fruit and nuts and whatnot in chicken salad. I am a classic kinda girl… but if you like those things I’m sure they could easily be added in!

I think this is a chicken salad you could love too!


4 split chicken breasts
good olive oil
salt and pepper

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 ~ 2/3 cup celery, finely diced
salt and pepper
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
1 TBS fresh dill, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme, leaves
1~ 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS lemon juice
a  few dashes of hot sauce

*tarragon can be substituted in place of thyme… I find tarragon overpowering, so I don’t use it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place chicken skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Liberally rub with oil and salt and pepper.
Roast until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. I use an instant read thermometer instead of using cooking times. It makes a more perfectly cooked piece of chicken. No dry chicken here!

Remove the chicken from oven and let just cool until you can handle it.

When cool enough to handle remove the skin and bones and chop the meat to your preferred consistancy. I like mine a little more shredded than most. Save the skin and bones for soup stock.

Put the chicken in a mixing bowl along with the red onions, celery, a little salt and pepper, parsley, dill and thyme.

In a second small mixing bowl add mayonnaise, lemon juice and hot sauce. Stir well. Mix the mayonnaise into the chicken until incorporated. Adjust for salt and pepper.

I served this chicken salad in puff pastry cups for a recent bridal shower. They were such a hit!!!

To see the the puff pasty culinary tutorial, click HERE.


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  1. Anonymous says

    Your chicken salad sounds delicious.
    Can’t wait until I can make this next week.

    No meat today or I would go to the store right now
    and mix some up.


  2. says

    When I do my cooking with herbs classes, I often demonstrate with chicken salad and have three samples — one plain (salt and pepper only) one with one kind of herb (usually dill) and one with another (often tarragon) — it helps them understand using herbs! Sounds delicious with three kinds of herbs!

  3. says

    I love mine with grapes, pineapple, apple and nuts, preferably walnuts. Love a good chicken salad! Beautiful presentation too Yvonne. Have a wonderful and Happy Easter.

  4. says

    Yvonne, I have not had any success using your Pin It button the last few times. Is it just me or are others having problems. It says there is an error.

    • says

      No, every time I hit the Pin It button below the blog I get a blank page and this message:

      Sorry, couldn’t find any pinnable images or video on this page.

      And it wasn’t just this time but also other times I have used your pin it button. Any idea what this is about??? If I click on the photo and then my Pin it button, I get the photo on a separate page, which I can pin, but there is no source sited once the pin is on Pinterest. In other words, if someone clicked on the photo of the chicken salad on my Recipe Board it would NOT take the to your blog page, just back to the photo. Maybe I need to add the Pin it button on my browser again and see if that is the problem.

  5. says

    Sounds wonderful, sometimes I feel like fruit and nuts added in, sometimes I don’t! Love the idea of the pastry cups. Happy and blessed Easter to you and your family, xo

  6. says

    Hi Yvonne!
    We’re planning another wedding! I love this idea and have pinned both the chicken salad recipe and the tutorial on the puff pastry cups on Pinterest. Thank you!
    A joyful and blessed Easter to you and your family,
    God bless you always,

  7. says

    Ah what a sweet pic and awesome recipe on a meatless Friday……I make all sorts of chicken salad b/c I have been known to host a girlie tea or two…..though it seems like forever since I have done so!

    Think I need to try your recipe – sure looks delish! Love the little pastry cups you have them in, looks so CUTE!!

    Yvonne, you are such an inspiration- thanks so much and have a fabulous weekend!


  8. says

    First, thanks so much for your research into the best of the best…love that! Second, I don’t know if the grapes and walnuts are a regional or handed down recipe thing but we absolutely do not do that here! And finally, my hubby found a chicken salad at a small local grocery store and loved it. I studied the list of ingredients and the main difference was the addition of a bit of apple cider vinegar. How do you think that adds to the taste? So love the puff pastry shells for serving. Can’t wait to try it. And, do you think using boneless chicken breasts make a difference?

    Thanks so much!


    • says

      Hi Jane, I think using chicken on the bone give a much more flavorful end product. There is so much flavor in the bones.

      Apple cider, like lemon brightens up and gives a little tang to the chicken salad!
      Let me know how you like the puffs!
      Happy Easter!

  9. says

    Yvonne~ Your chicken salad looks delicious and of course the presentation with the golden puff pastry cups is flawless and beautiful! I have pinned so I can try your cups for a baby shower I need to host this fall! Thanks so much for the inspiration and mouth-watering recipe! Happy Easter to you & your family!

  10. says

    Yvonne~~I am wondering about the puff pastry. I’d like to make these for a function but as I work, I need to have these made up ahead of time, baked and filled ready to serve for lunch. If I bake the pastry puffs the day before and fill them in with the chicken salad the next morning, refrigerate until lunch, will they be okay? Do you think the pastry would be tough?

  11. Rachel Rinehimer says

    Sounds delicious….and I love how you listed “good olive oil” in the ingredients!! Ina would be proud of you! LOL

  12. says

    I am really excited to give this a try. I do love chicken and this recipe certainly sounds interesting. Some friends are also paying me a visit tomorrow, so I guess this will be a great snack. By the way, the ensemble on the last photo is awesome! Thank you for this post!

  13. says

    This is a great recipe and thanks for the link back to the puff pastry tutorial. I am a new follower and had not seen that before….very easy to follow instructions. I am going to try it on Tuesday night for a ladies meeting at church.

  14. says

    Dang this is going on the Saturday lunch menu with the Girls!!

    Thanks many thanks cause this is the reason i dearly love Pinterest!! I would probably never have found you otherwise.

  15. Anonymous says

    My goodness this was the easiest chicken salad I have try!! Thank god for Pinterest because I had to find a recipe and I am going to try your chicken salad thanks Pinterest!!

  16. Linda says

    This sounds delicious! I’ll be trying soon. I usually just use chicken from the can, though. I’m having the same issue as Karen above with the Pin. It won’t work for me.

  17. Carol says

    My chicken salad is very similar Рalthough I am not a fan of dill I leave that out, and add chopped apples that have been peeled along with some chopped pecans. We have our own pecan trees so I am always looking for a way to use them. Green onions instead of the red onions and replace some of the mayonnaise with sour cr̬me.
    Love your blog site – don’t know how I came upon it but have not only gotten some great ideas from you I have appreciated the other sites you share with us. Have not found items on any of them that is unaffordable on a retirement income.

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