Chicken Waldorf Salad

Another weekend, another carb fest. Although this time, I had a pretty good excuse. It started with pasta at Pastai in Chelsea on Friday night in preparation for the race on Saturday morning. (This of course reminded me of the episode of  The Office when Michael Scott “carbo loads” on fettucine alfredo minutes before running a 5k, which he later vomits up. Not that there was any vomit here – my bucatini with cauliflower “ragu” was delicious – but the occasion had me sentimental for Michael Scott-isms after the show’s finale on Thursday.) Followed by post-race Spotted Pig burgers, which were everything we hoped they’d be. Topped off with artichoke-stuffed baked shells (more to come on that later this week) on Sunday night.

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Needless to say, it was not the healthiest of weekends, which is why I bring you this Chicken Waldorf Salad today. Waldorf Salad was first introduced to me in the NYU dining hall (much like these taco salads). I loved the mix of textures from the grapes and walnuts, and the combination of sweet and savory with the apples and celery. The concept of fruit in salad was still fairly new to me at this point, so the Waldorf Salad was an exciting and complex twist for my immature palate.
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My riff on the Waldorf is a bit heartier with poached chicken mixed in and served on top a bed of arugula to round out the dish. I also lightened up the mayo-based dressing by mixing it with nonfat yogurt and fresh lemon juice. This makes a great brown-bag lunch for work and is a welcome switch from regular-old-veggie salads. Why wouldn’t you want a little bit of sweet in your salad??
Though my carb binge was well-deserved this weekend (or at least I like to tell myself that), my waistline will thank me for this salad – until training for the marathon begins, that is!
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Chicken Waldorf Salad

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup light mayo

1/3 nonfat plain yogurt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 medium red apple, diced (I used gala)

3 celery stalks, diced

1 cup red grapes, halved

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

salt & pepper, to taste

bunch of arugula (or any lettuce you prefer)

1. First poach chicken breasts. Place chicken in a medium saucepot and cover with water. Add a healthy pinch or two of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cover, reduce heat and continue cooking 12-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let cool.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Chop up all your fruit, celery and nuts into bite-size pieces. You want everything to be roughly the same size. Toss apple, celery, grapes and nuts in the dressing.

4. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, dice into bite-size pieces. Toss with the rest of the salad. Season with salt and pepper.

5. To serve, place a bed of arugula on your plate and top with chicken Waldorf salad.

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One thought on “Chicken Waldorf Salad

  1. Pingback: Artichoke-Stuffed Baked Shells | Cooking With Cara

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