The following is a guest post by Pamela Salzman, a natural foods cooking instructor, holistic health counselor, and writer behind the food blog of her own name, PamelaSalzman.com. She is the author of Kitchen Matters: More than 100 Recipes and Tips that Will Transform the Way You Cook and Eat and is the Culinary Nutritionist for Clean Eating Magazine. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and three children.
This Green Goddess Chicken Salad recipe is from my new cookbook, Kitchen Matters, and is a delicious, more nutritious twist on a classic chicken salad. I start with poached chicken, which is super easy to make and a very healthful way to cook chicken. It also really absorbs so much flavor from whatever it’s paired with. Instead of combining the chicken with traditional mayonnaise, which can be a little bland and difficult to find with all real food ingredients, I love using this beautiful and flavorful homemade green goddess dressing.
This is my own version of green goddess dressing with all the creaminess and herbaceous flavor you would expect. (On a side note, I also love using the dressing on a crudites platter because it’s so vibrant and goes with every vegetable.) As for the salad, I kept the classic celery and onion but added some capers for a delicious briny, salty flavor. And since I can’t help myself from adding greens into anything, I turned this into a green salad!
A few years ago, my family might have rejected the idea of a big salad for dinner (as opposed to a big salad with dinner). But they’ve definitely come around to the idea, especially in the warmer months when we prefer eating something light but substantial. The key with a big salad is to keep things interesting with a variety of textures and flavors. It’s also super important to make sure the ingredients are really fresh and delicious. It can make the difference between a “wow!” salad and a “blah” salad.
One of the most common questions I hear in my cooking classes is about substitutions, especially for dairy, gluten, nuts, and animal protein. My answer is that there’s almost always a great substitute! I have addressed common allergens/intolerances for every recipe in my book. With respect to this chicken salad, whether you choose almond milk yogurt or silken tofu to make this dairy-free, or omit the chicken in place of cooked white beans and avocado for the vegetarian folks, it is a flexible recipe. Thank you, Lisa, for having me back on your blog. It’s always great to be in the company of other real foodies!
Green Goddess Chicken Salad
- 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, about 12 ounces each
- 1/2 small onion peeled (red is nice)
- 4 large garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves (I like flat-leaf)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1 scallion chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 2 anchovy fillets)
- 1/2 cup unrefined, cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head baby Romaine lettuce leaves washed, dried, and left whole (or about 3 cups of chopped standard Romaine)
- 1 Persian cucumber chopped
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup capers drained
Place the chicken in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, and salt and add water to cover.
Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Allow chicken to cool in the poaching liquid, about 15 minutes.
Remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into large, bite-size pieces. Set aside in a large bowl.
Toss lettuce with enough dressing to coat lightly. Add remaining salad components and the chicken on top of lettuce and serve with extra dressing on the side.
- You can use a rotisserie chicken and remove skin and bones and shred the meat into large bite-size pieces. You should have about 4 - 5 cups shredded meat.
- The original Green Goddess dressing contains lots of tarragon. Feel free to experiment with other different fresh green herbs such as tarragon, cilantro, chervil, or mint.
- For a diary-free version, use ½ cup of silken tofu in place of the yogurt and increase the lemon juice to 3 tablespoons.
- You can sub half of the chives for green onions.
- We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.