Lighten Up! Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries

Chicken salad is not your friend. Most any "salad' that contains copious quantities of fatty but tasty mayonnaise is not figure friendly. Tuna, egg, whitefish, chicken, potato and the insidious macaroni salad, they are all the enemy, unless you know tricks to make them lighter and healthier. Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Houdini? Who needs magicians when the Great Gorniaki will amaze you with my kitchen magic show! Like Penn and Teller, I'm here to reveal the secrets to creating something so taste defying that your friends and family will hardly believe their eyes or taste buds!
First, you have to remove the fat. You need to replace the unctuous Hellman's with a mouth-feel rich and creamy substitute. Second, you need flavors, pizazz, oomph! Third, you need a good chicken, whether it's left-over rotisserie or roasted chicken, or a few poached breasts, the chicken needs to be well seasoned, tender and delicious. Forth, add in some healthy veggies to bulk up the salad, giving you a serving of your veggies and making it a real salad. Contrary to the popular Homer Simpson belief, Yes, You can make friends with Salad!

Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries Ingredients
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, about 2 pounds total: Poached, Roasted, or Rotisserie - Cooled & Cut into 1/2 sized cubes/large dice
  • 1 Large Celery Stalk - washed and cut into medium dice
  • 1 Large Carrot - washed, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup (about 1/2 small) Onion - small dice (COMPLETELY OPTIONAL, USE ONLY IF YOU LIKE ONIONS RAW!)
  • 1 - 5 to 6 ounce container of Non-Fat Greek Style Yogurt - such as Fage
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Italian Seasonings or Herbs de Provenance or a combination of Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Tarragon and Thyme
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste
  1. Dice the chicken, celery, onions (if using) and shred the carrots. Place in mixing bowl along with the dried cranberries.
  2. Make the dressing - in a small mixing bowl, blend together the Greek Style yogurt, Dijon mustard, sour cream and dried seasonings. Let the mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes to let the dried seasonings reconstitute and release their flavors.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings, flavoring with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. If the dressing is too bland, add in more Dijon mustard, dried seasonings, salt or pepper as needed.
  4. Pour the dressing over the chicken and vegetables and fold the ingredients together to incorporate. Serve well chilled. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Keep covered and refrigerated. Holds up to 4 days.


  1. This sounds delicious! I'm going to try it this weekend.
    Thanks for reminding me that my true love Hellman's isn't good for me... damn it!

  2. This sounds terrific! And now I have two recipes -- potato and chicken salad. I adore both. (Macaroni salad not so much.)

    Recently I discovered Kefir goat milk--kind of like a milky yogurt. Really loved the tangy taste (a la sour cream)and since I don't drink cow milk or use cream it's nice to know it can be used as a substitute in some cases.

  3. Hellman's is the best, but it's not the best for us. The light version is okay,in small amounts. The fat-free is awful, as are most fat-free substitutes for mayo/oil/fatty condiments.
    Style Maniac - Kefir is so good for you! I think it would work well as a substitute for buttermilk recipes - especially in baked goods, or as a marinade for chicken - the enzymes would tenderize the proteins.

    Also, did you know that goats milk is great for people w/lactose issues? It can be digested easier as it has less milk sugars. Tips I learned & taught when I did City Food Tours.


Post a Comment

The Bicycle Chef loves to Talk, Eat and Read Comments! Leave one for me to enjoy!

Popular Posts