Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
Chicken salad recipes are amazing energy saving recipes because they are just a mixture of cooked chicken and other fresh ingredients, topped with a creamy sauce.
Today’s chicken salad recipe utilizes one of my favorite time and energy saving ingredients: rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. There are so many flavors available, the chicken is fresh and roasted that day, and the price is almost always identical to the price of a whole, raw chicken. For further savings, look for coupons as most grocery stores will have free items available when you purchase a rotisserie chicken.
Whenever I make this recipe, I like to use the lemon pepper seasoned rotisserie chicken, but the original flavor or an herb flavor also works well. The only part of this recipe that uses any energy is making the creamy lemon and tarragon dressing in a food processor. This takes only a few seconds and is totally worth the little bit of energy use to get the fresh tarragon herb mixed throughout the dressing. I like to use celery salt instead of sea salt and fresh chopped celery in my chicken salad recipe, but you can definitely swap sea salt for the celery salt and add in some fresh chopped celery if you love it in your chicken salads.
I like to use a lot of delicious, crunchy, and sweet ingredients to pair with the tangy dressing in this chicken salad. I add in red grapes, Golden Delicious apples, dried cranberries, chopped honey toasted pecans, red onion, and green onions for a great mix of ingredients to take this chicken salad to the next level. Follow the photo and instructions below for how to make avocado halves that do not topple over and are perfect for stuffing.
Save all the bits of extra avocado you scoop out and make a guacamole with it for chips later or spread it on toast with eggs the next morning to maximize the use of ingredients here. This chicken salad is delicious, sweet, tangy, and a perfect cool and no energy use recipe for the summer time! If you have any leftover chicken salad, it tastes great as a snack with crackers or pita chips, and it always makes a great sandwich filling. My favorite bread to pair with this chicken salad is a good wheat or honey oat bread.
Lemony Tarragon Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado Halves
- 1 Large rotisserie chicken (lemon pepper or original flavor)
- 1 Large Golden Delicious apple, diced
- 1 c. Red seedless grapes, quartered
- ¼ c. Red onion, very finely diced
- ¼ c. Green onion, white and light green part thinly sliced
- ½ c. Dried cranberries
- 1/3 c. Honey toasted pecans, finely chopped
- 1 c. Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- ¼ oz. Fresh tarragon herb (approx.1 handful)
- 3 tbsp. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp. Lemon pepper seasoning
- ½ tsp. Celery salt
1) Remove skin and pull all of the meat from the bone on the drumsticks, thighs, and chicken breasts. Chop meat into small pieces and measure out 3 cups of it to use in the mix.
2) Prep fresh ingredients as listed by cutting, dicing, chopping, and slicing as directed.
3) Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, tarragon, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, and celery salt to a food processor. Process for 20 – 30 seconds until fully combined.
4) In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced chicken, diced apples, quartered grapes, diced red onion, sliced green onions, dried cranberries, and finely chopped pecans. Mix everything together first without adding the dressing.
5) Pour in the dressing from the food processor and mix everything together. Place in the refrigerator to cool or until ready to serve.
6) To prepare the avocado halves, first slice a small piece off each side (as shown) to make a flat bottom to keep the avocado halves from toppling over on the plate. Then cut down the middle of the avocado to make two halves, remove the pit, and scoop out a little bit of the avocado meat to make room for the chicken salad filling.
7) When ready to serve, scoop the chicken salad into the prepared avocado halves and top with a sprinkle of any extra finely chopped honey toasted pecan pieces.
Enjoy this light, refreshing meal any time of the day!
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan