Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mandarin Chicken Salad with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

AFTER ROASTING A CHICKEN AND EATING IT for a couple of days, I decided to pick off the rest of the meat for a chicken salad. I knew I wanted fruit in it--maybe apples or grapes or both, neither of which I had on hand. Then I spotted the bowl of Clementines and thought, sure, why not.

I decided to add celery and scallions, and I knew I had some pecan halves leftover from Christmas baking. I also thought I would add some blue cheese and further thought I had some in the fridge, only to discover a little mouse (my husband) had eaten it. I did find a chunk of smoked Gouda so I used that.

After I got the ingredients together and dressed, I was stirring it and thinking how dull and colorless it looked. I was thinking, if I had some dried cranberries, I would add some for color as well as flavor. Then I remembered I had some homemade whole cranberry sauce in the refrigerator. Lovely. Perfect.

For serving, I garnished with additional tangerine sections and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

Mandarin Chicken Salad with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans
2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted pecan halves
2 Clementines/tangerines/cuties/satsumas (whatever the grower calls them, they are all Mandarin oranges) peeled, sectioned, and halved
3 oz. smoked Gouda, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup fresh whole cranberry sauce

1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar or honey
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and chill while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Stir together the shredded chicken, celery slices, scallion slices, pecans, tangerines, cheese, and cranberry sauce. Pour over the chilled dressing and toss until evenly distributed. Chill before serving.


  1. I often think of recipes in terms of color! Flavor first, of course; but 2nd, I want the dish to look good. And color (or really terrific texture) is the key, IMO. This looks really good -- thanks so much.

    1. John, you know how all those TV chefs like to talk about eating with your eyes first. While growing up, my Dad was always appreciate and complimentary of Mama's cooking. He would often comment on the colors. Thank you for the comment. --Rocquie

  2. I really enjoy how you "build" a recipe, and this sounds wonderful. So many flavors to enjoy.

    1. Melynda, this was one of my creations that worked and was quite delicious. I admit, however, that I have had my failures in the kitchen. :-)