Smoky chicken salad is seasoned with cumin, paprika, and black pepper.
Smoky chicken salad is a new flavor for me. I love the smell of a campfire. I love smoky spices. It's as if this dish and I were meant for each other.
How it came to be.
Here's the story. I'm sticking to it. I wandered into a deli. The smoky chicken salad was on the menu. Of all the chicken salads I've tried before, I've never tried a smoky chicken salad. If I'm going to mention a few... I couldn't. If you've ever been to the restaurant Chicken Salad Chicks, you may know they have quite a variety of chicken salads. I've tried all but two. My favorite on the menu is the lemon basil.
Back to the smoke. I stopped by Kitchens Cafe on Harrison St. in Paducah. It's part of the WKCTC campus. More often than not, they'll feature gluten-free items. On this day, they didn't. I started ordering random things. This cold salad was one of the things.
No ingredients were listed on the packaging. So, I started analyzing my lunch. I began with the easy ingredients like cubed chicken, celery, and pecans. Next, I would taste the sauce, and taste the sauce, and taste the sauce. Based on my tastebuds, love of smoky flavors, and the seasonings readily available in my cabinet. Viola, the recipe.
Ingredients: Three chicken breasts (either roasted or poached)
Three celery stalks
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
One cup of mayonnaise
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
When the chicken is cooked, cut into cubes. Next, use celery hearts. Slice in half. Chop. Add to the chicken. Add the pecans. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Fold into the chicken. Time for lunch.
If you love smoky flavors, a chipotle might be nice in the chicken salad. I detected no heat in Kitchens Cafe Smoky Chicken Salad. I wanted to try my best to replicate it. I believe I came very close.
Smoky chicken salad serves 3 -4 people