waldorf salad

i wonder if i’m going to get any blair waldorf/gossip girl searches landing here on my blog. i found out yesterday that not one but THREE people got to my blog using the search term “bakeries are small and black just like your great uncle.” yup, you read that right, folks. i guess between my talking about nyc bakeries, black and white cookies and using a story people quote involving a great uncle, this makes sense. but WHO searches for that?!

anyways, quick state of the union: i’m pretty proud of myself for learning how to make BUTTONS last night and now have an rss feed and twitter button over on the right. it’s so geeky and it made me stay up way past my bedtime, but i was determined and i did it! also, my friend and loyal reader, ally, is fantastic. she’s always giving me such valuable feedback on my blog and her suggestions usually invoke change! i wouldn’t have a printable recipe page if it wasn’t for her and now, on said printable recipes, i’ve also added nutrition information, cooking times and serving sizes for those of you that are interested :)

anyways, here’s a recipe for my waldorf salad. let’s consider it… chicken salad with a twist. rather than chunks of chicken thrown together with gobs of mayo, this is a scrumptious alternative, light on the mayo, full of different textures and flavors from tart apples to chewy craisins and juicy grapes to crunchy walnuts. trust me, it’s fantastic and for some reason, reminds me of summer.

three chicken breasts (appx. 1 lb.)

pinch of salt

two pinches of pepper

two pinches of garlic powder

two pinches of onion powder

1 cup grapes

1 granny smith apple

1/4 cup walnuts or almonds or a combination of both

1/4 cup craisins

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

done collecting? super. let’s move onto the doing.

the longest step of this whole dish is cooking the chicken and waiting for it to cool. during that time, you can go watch real housewives of beverly hills or something, it’s not hands on, so even though from beginning to end this dish might take you an hour, that doesn’t really count.

spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and put your chicken in the dish. sprinkle the side that’s facing up with one pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. then, flip over the chicken and sprinkle the other side with the rest of your pepper and powders. let it cook another 10-15 minutes or until it’s cooked all the way through. you want the chicken to be cooked but not charred or anything - i wouldn’t suggest grilling or anything like that.

set it aside and let it cool as much as possible.

while the chicken is cooking or cooling, prep the rest of your ingredients. if anne burrell has taught me anything, it’s the importance of your mise en place. for those of you that don’t speak french (read: me), i’ll let you in on a secret - it just means everything in place. basically, have all your prep work ready to go, so that when you’re cooking, you don’t have to sit there and clean, chop or look for your ingredients.

i sliced all my grapes in half, cut my apple into 16ths and then chopped that. i measured out my craisins and chopped my almond/walnut mixture, as well.

when the chicken was cooled, i chopped it into bite-size pieces. isn’t this plate so pretty?!

i then thought up a little technique to make sure everything was well-mixed from the start. instead of just dumping everything into the mixing bowl, one ingredient at a time, i went around the plate three or four times and grabbed a little bit of each component and layered it in the bowl.

once everything is in there, add the light mayo and the dill. mix everything together and sneak a bite to see if it needs anymore seasoning.

after that, i toasted an english muffin and it was the perfect little sandwich! i ended up eating it open-faced, but i think it would have been great on a baguette, in a wrap or even on some lettuce if bread isn’t your thing.

click here for a printable version of the recipe!