Fried chicken salad is a perfect way to use up leftover fried chicken. It’s chicken salad, NOT salad with fried chicken on it, and it’s surprisingly tasty!
We have been a cable-free house for a little over five years now. We cut out our cable in 2011 to trim costs a little bit after Philip quit his job in corporate America. We waffled on it for a while, unsure of whether we could live without music television (not MTV, as the MTV that we grew up – that actually played music – had long since turned into a reality show network) or food television. Five years later, though, we’ve learned that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube fill the void nicely. From time to time I do miss Food Network (their limited offerings on Netflix really don’t do the trick for me) but overall I’m good with the food TV fix I get from America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country, and bloggers on YouTube.
The one show that I regret that I never got to follow was Southern at Heart with Damaris Phillips. Damaris was the winner of a season of The Next Food Network Star. Being a Kentucky girl, she went with Southern food for her show. After a reader told me about her show, I watched as many episodes as a could (read: not many) on Food Network’s website. I (briefly) considered renewing my cable subscription just to access her show. I’m glad I didn’t, because the show was canceled after 3 seasons.
Anyway, let’s get to the point of this: fried chicken salad. It’s something that I never would have thought of on my own. Damaris, though…Damaris knew. On her show, she made some fried chicken salad…cutting up leftover fried chicken that she’d kept in a bag in her freezer, mixing it up with a fresh dressing and some chicken salad-y mix-ins. I was intrigued, and I had to try fried chicken salad PRONTO.
My chance came almost immediately. We had lunch at my in-laws’ house and they served fried chicken. They had ordered way too much – half a chicken for each person!!! – so we came home with a couple of chicken breasts. I took this as a sign that I needed to turn it into chicken salad. I was sold. With the crunchy bits of breading, tender white meat chicken, and whatever you like in your chicken salad, fried chicken salad is perfect on a sandwich, on a cracker, or on a fork.
I don’t have a fried chicken recipe on my blog, but if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll get a free southern cooking ebook with my fried chicken recipe. I’m not going to lie, though…I usually buy my fried chicken at Publix. It’s just so good. We are dark meat lovers so we eat the thighs and drumsticks for dinner the first night (well, I eat a thigh and Philip eats a thigh and a drumstick) and then the breasts and the little bit of meat on the wings get turned into fried chicken salad. This is my version – inspired by Damaris but not copied from her. I like pickles, celery, and shallots (which I quick pickle in a little vinegar to knock down the oniony flavor a bit) plus a quick, creamy buttermilk-herb dressing.
If you make fried chicken salad, you may never eat chicken salad any other way!
Yield: 6-8 servings
This recipe was inspired by Damaris Phillips .
45 minPrep Time:
45 minTotal Time:
- 1 shallot, finely diced (or 1/4 cup onion)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 stalk celery, wiped cleaned and finely diced
- 1/4 cup finely diced dill pickles (I used about 6 "baby" kosher dills)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- meat and coating from 2 fried chicken breasts and 2 fried chicken wings, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and vinegar. Place the shallot into the pickling liquid. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, and parsley. Drain the pickled shallots and fold them into the dressing, along with the diced celery and dill pickles.
- Fold the chopped chicken into the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve alone or on sandwiches or crackers.
The prep time includes inactive prep to pickle the shallots.