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Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

For several years, I’ve made a Chunky Curried Chicken Salad recipe that just rocked.  It made me never want to make another chicken salad again because I couldn’t imagine one that could be as good.  Then Paula Deen made a chicken salad on one of her shows a few months ago and I was intrigued.

So I searched out the recipe online and decided to give it a whirl.  Here’s the thing……..I’m big on flavor.  And if a recipe has Lemon in the title, I wanna taste lemon.  KWIM?  The original recipe called for just a teeny bit of lemon juice.  I couldn’t figure how I was supposed to taste any of the lemon with just that paltry amount of lemon juice.  So I tweaked and tweaked until I had exactly what I wanted.  So while I started with one of Paula’s recipes, I ended up with something else.

And I have to say, this new chicken salad ranks right up there with my Chunky Curried Chicken Salad!  At least in MY book! 

So let’s make it!

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

*  2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and cut into chunks

*  1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with some leaves too)

*  1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (Is that a real word!?!??)

*  1/2 cup slivered almonds

*  1 cup mayonnaise

*  1 cup non-fat yogurt

*  zest and juice from 2 lemons

*  salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

*  1 tsp. fresh garlic, minced

Mix together and chil.

I implore you to ONLY make this if you have fresh basil.  Dried basil will not give this the bright, bold flavor you get from using fresh basil.  And if you don’t have lemons to zest, wait until you do!  You’ll never get the full flavor of this dish if you don’t use the zest of the lemons.

I have served this several different ways.  I made some Lemon Basil Scones the first time I made it.  That was OK.  The next time, I made homemade foccacia bread and served it on that.  I added lemon zest and fresh basil and garlic to the foccacia dough and formed the dough into little “buns.”  That was good too.  We’ve eaten it on plain old loaf bread.  Not bad either.  But this last time, I used little Hawaiian bread rolls.  And the sweetness of those rolls combined with the zesty lemon and basil just really rocked my world!  So I highly recommend using Hawaiian bread when you make this salad.

OK, and there ya go!  I can’t even begin to tell you how light and refreshing this chicken salad is!  It’s great for luncheons, teas, parties, because-it’s-Thursday………….Give it a try!  I think you’ll love it too!

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3 Responses

  1. Yum! I’m not necessarily a fan of that much lemon, but I’m all about the fresh basil!! I think I’ll try it one this weekend, then know if I want to fix this particular one for my niece’s wedding. I’m so glad you posted this today! Thanks Amy! 🙂

  2. Oh, that does look yummy! I also love lemon. LOVE IT! I am thinking this one will have to be on my must try list. 🙂 Thanks, Amy!!

  3. KIMMIE, I HATE LEMON BUT AMY HAS BEEN MAKING A LOT LATELY WITH A LITTLE ZEST. THIS IS JUST ENOUGH TO GIVE IT A VERY FRESH TASTE. I LOVE IT!

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