I really like to cook big. We are just a family of three, but I tend to cook like I’m feeding the whole neighborhood. It could be the caterer in me or the caterer in me was created by living with a huge Italian family in close proximity. Either way, I cook huge portions. This leaves leftovers. Some people, like my husband, have no problem eating the exact same thing day after day, but I really need to repurpose and reimagine and feel like I’m eating something fresh. Roasted chicken is really high on my list of prefered leftovers because I can do so many great things with it, and the transformation feels fresh.
I shared my Roasted Chicken Recipe with you, and truthfully I didn’t just make one. I made two, and I highly recommend making two because what remains of the first chicken ends up being a pretty small chicken salad. So, if you have a large family, you can serve a great dinner, have lunch for the next day, and only handle chicken and clean up once.
A small reminder, that you can totally buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket to make this. I won’t judge, and have definitely done it. Do take a few things into account before doing that. Sometimes those chickens are really small. I don’t think they start out that way, but slow cooking on the rotiserie makes them shrink a lot. You may need to buy a spare. Also, stick to something seasoned with just herbs and try to avoid some of the more creative choices the store offers. Also, these tend to be saltier than what I make at home, so just forgo adding extra salt until after you mix up the salad and taste it.
(If using a leftover roaster, cut recipe in half)
3-4 Cups of Roasted Chicken
1/2 C. Celery
1/2 Large Red Onion
1/2 C. Red or Black Seedless Grapes
1 Large Gala Apple (sweet and crunchy variety)
1 C. Mayonaise
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
salt and pepper as needed
- Wash and chop all of your produce. Chop the apple,celery, and onion into a fine dice, and put them in a large mixing bowl.
- Wash grapes and cut in half. Then add them to the mixing bowl.
- Prepare a large cutting board to pull apart roasted chicken. I’m sure there are neat and professional ways of doing this, but I just get in with my hands and pull it apart. Start with legs and thigs. These should lift away from the body and separate at the joint. Strip the meat and skin away. Then remove the breast meat. Finish by gleaning what you can from the back and the wings.
- Chop all of the meat up into 1/2″ pieces. Leave the crispy skin as part of th mixture and double check for any cartilage, bone, or chewy skin. Add this to the mixing bowl.
- Add Mayonaise and vinegar to the bowl, and stir.
- Once everything is well incorporated, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
- If you started with a warm chicken, chill for about an hour or until the mixture is fridge cold.
“Can’t make chicken salad out of a chicken noodle.” -Mike Ditka