Gourmet Chicken Salad Recipe…Fire Critic Style!

You guys have asked for it. I think I have dangled it in front of your faces long enough. It is time that I set you out on your journey to see if you can make the Fire Critic Gourmet Chicken Salad (Willie, the T is silent in Gourmet). Feel free to offer your ideas to make it better.

Here is how it goes…One day at the firehouse, the guys said they wanted chicken salad. I knew how to make chicken salad, but it wasn’t great. I didn’t want to make it. I don’t like it when cooking is a chore and not fun. One of the guys said that I could come up with a gourmet style chicken salad.

I did the only natural think I knew to do…I googled it.

I found a half dozen recipes on gourmet chicken salad. I looked them over and walked away. I can cook from a recipe, but it was not necessary. Therefore, the inspiration for this recipe was taken from several recipes. I knew I did not want to use mayo or that slaw dressing. I wanted something lighter and maybe healthier.

I can also tell you that while I can give you the ingredients, you will have to figure out how much of each you will need. I simply cook by sight.


  • Oven Roasted chicken (broiled/grilled will work as well)
  • Walnuts (chopped)
  • Almonds (sliced)
  • Celery chopped small
  • Onion chopped small (do not use a lot of onion)
  • Grapes cut in half (black or red seedless work the best)
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Creamy Cucumber salad dressing (Kroger brand offers one)
  • black pepper

One way of making this meal cheaper is to cook extra chicken the shift before and have it cold in the fridge for the day you want to use it. Another way to make it cheaper is to buy walnuts, cranberries, and almonds in bulk and have it on hand for the next time you make this dish.

I typically season the chicken somehow before cooking. You could try lemon pepper seasoning or oven roasted with Italian seasoning. Pull the chicken from the bone or pull apart the meat on boneless chicken breasts. Save money cooking whole chickens and picking both white meat and dark meat to use. Make it healthier by using only chicken breasts.

In a large bowl, add the chicken, walnuts, almonds, celery, onion, grapes, cranberries, and some black pepper. Mix it up and then add the salad dressing. Mix thoroughly. Finally, add the mandarin oranges and mix up a little bit more. Put the chicken salad in the fridge to chill and serve cold. This stuff is great the next day too!

The photos used in this post were from today. I made a large batch of chicken salad for dinner tonight and lunch on Friday.

The amount of ingredients I used today were approximately:

  • 4 lbs of chicken breasts and 3 whole chickens all oven roasted and seasoned with garlic and lemon pepper seasoning.
  • 12 oz. of walnuts
  • 8 oz. of almonds
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lb. of grapes
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 bottles of creamy cucumber salad dressing
  • 4 cans of mandarin oranges

Optional: You can add apples to the recipe too. I add them occasionally.

The guys love this stuff. It is a meal and dessert in one!