Originally, I was just going to make muffulettas for my party over the weekend, until I was sitting at my desk late last week, and like a lightning bolt I realized that muffulettas are a symphony of porcine delights, and more than half of my guests keep kosher. I needed a pork-free alternative and fast. Mom suggested chicken salad, and sent me a recipe she'd spotted in a recent issue of Southern Living. At that point, I didn't have time to think of anything else, so I went ahead and made it. I made a few modifications, based on what I had on hand. For instance, the original recipe called for all mayonnaise, but I had some lowfat Greek yogurt leftover from my peaches and cream popsicles, so I threw that in to lighten up the calorie content. I also substituted shallots and green onion for ordinary white onion, since I had them on hand, and I thought they'd add some nice extra color.
Lo and behold, it was the greatest surprise of my culinary efforts for the party. It wasn't just good, it was really good! I went for the muffuletta for dinner at the party, but I was craving the chicken salad until I got to have some for dinner the next day. As such, I feel it is my duty to share it with you...
adapted from Southern Living
2/3 c. chopped pecans
3 c. chopped, cooked chicken
3/4 c. sweetened, dried cranberries
2 stalks celery, diced
3 oz. 2% Greek-style yogurt
3 oz. mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. Greek seasoning
1 small shallot, finely minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 5-7 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool completely.
2. Stir together all ingredients, serve immediately or chill until needed.