The most common reaction to chicken salad is a sigh followed by a reluctant “I guess so.” And generally, that’s the appropriate reaction to chunks of cold, dry chicken and mayo. Still, I’ve tried not to let chicken salad’s rep deter me from an easy lunch staple and am here to tell you that chicken salad can be really good.
For the best chicken salad, you’ll want to start with good chicken – ideally the leftovers of last night’s dinner, especially the dark meat. Unlike other lunch meats, the chicken in chicken salad isn’t pressed or processed, it’s just tossed with a few other delicious ingredients that make it just right for a couple slices of bread. Here, I’ve kept things minimal – a few dollops of homemade aioli, minced fennel, and a generous slug of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (the more the better), all atop thick-cut, toasted ciabatta.
This week, we’re participating in the Tabasco 10 Ingredient Challenge. Every day this week, we’ll be bringing you a new recipe made from a selection of just 10 ingredients: Tabasco Original Red, Green Jalapeno, or Chipotle Sauce; chicken; eggs; mozzarella; fennel; zucchini; rice; rigatoni; ciabatta; and honey. (Salt, pepper, and oil are free ingredients.) Stay tuned for a host of creative (and spicy) recipes from us and a host of talented bloggers. Follow along with #TABASCO10 on Twitter and Instagram.
An effortless jalapeño chicken salad recipe featuring tender dark meat chicken, homemade aioli, fennel, and green pepper sauce on toasted ciabatta.
- 1 egg yolk
- sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 chicken thighs (about 1 cup shredded)
- 1/4 cup finely minced fennel
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce , plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices ciabatta , lightly toasted
To make the simple aioli, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on an egg yolk. Whisk vigorously, and drizzle in just a bit of olive oil. Continue whisking and adding oil in very small increments. Once mixture is emulsified and has thickened, add the olive oil in bigger glugs. Finish with a bit of sea salt, added to taste. Leftover aioli will keep well sealed in a jar for up to 3 days.
To make the chicken salad, combine 3 tablespoons aioli, chicken, fennel, and Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce, plus sea salt and black pepper to taste. Spoon onto toasted, thick-cut ciabatta, slice in half, and serve.
Thanks to Tabasco for sponsoring this post!