Yup, you read that right. I am a Gamecock. I don’t have a picture for this recipe, so I’m using a picture that I took when I was back down at USC last fall for a football game. This was only the second time that I’ve been back since I graduated in December of 2010, and I wish I could go more. Like once a month more. But that’s really not realistic financially or socially. I have a life (and a job) here, so I just have to have way too much fun (and food) when I’m back down south, and recreate all of the good foods that remind me of the good old college days when I’m at home. My boyfriend isn’t a huge fan of my talking about college non-stop, especially about the amazing football team that USC has (something about me not playing football.. whatever) so I won’t go on and on about it.. But anyone who went to USC, or any college that you absolutely loved for that matter, will understand my sentiment.
This was hands-down one of my go-to’s from the Horseshoe Deli at USC. Of course back then it came on a croissant and was probably partly to blame for any weight gain that came in my freshman year of college (I’m sure the alcohol had nothing to do with it). Another other one of my go-to’s was a grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinegar from the create-your-own salad bar that my roommate (and best friend) and I would get every single day after classes. We would get our salads and our Diet Coke’s walk back to our dorm to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch and take afternoon naps. I’m not even embarrassed writing that. Damn, I really miss college sometimes.
1-1 1/2 lbs of chicken. I usually buy frozen bags of chicken breasts from Sams Club and use 3-4 breasts at a time. If I use fresh chicken, I’ll use a pack of 3 breasts.
3-4 TBSP mayo (paleo mayo is obviously best, but in a pinch I use Olive Oil mayo). You can use more or less based on how dry you like your chicken salad. TJ doesn’t like it super mayonnaisey and since this is what I usually make for his lunch because I can make it in a huge batch (I obviously increase the recipe if making it for a week) so it makes making his lunch easier on me every night.
1-2 TSP curry powder.
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped.
1/3 cup white or yellow oinion.
1/4 cup red grapes, halved or quartered.
I can’t believe I am even typing this, but to make chicken salad I always boil the chicken. I don’t know if it’s because my mom does it and her chicken salad is always amazing, or because its much juicier, but I do it. The phrase “boiled chicken” really grosses me out, but whatever makes it taste better, right? If it’s frozen, the chicken usually needs about 30 minutes, but cut a breast in half to make sure the middle is not pink. It’s hard to overcook chicken when boiling it, but it is possible (trust me). If the thought of boiled chicken grosses you out (like a lot of my friends) you can bake it in the oven or cook it on the stove. The point is: cook the chicken. In a pinch, which is code for: when I am feeling lazy or I’m out of chicken breasts, canned chicken does the job just as well. I don’t season the chicken at all for cooking.
Once the chicken is cooked, take it out, let it cool, and dice it into small chunks. Then, add everything else and mix it up really well. I am not a huge weekly “meal prepper,” probably because I love to cook and always cook extra for TJ’s lunches, but this is a great one to make on a Sunday night and have for the week. The flavors get better the longer they sit together in the fridge, and it is one less thing that I have to cook for lunch that week.