Chicken salad begins with leftover roast chicken, and can incorporate whatever ingredients you have on hand—from bell peppers, celery, and walnuts (shown), to snow peas and even grapes. Aside from the vegetables listed here, you may add more according to your taste, such as pieces of lightly cooked asparagus and artichoke hearts. The vinaigrette recipe yields enough to dress a few more small salads—just refrigerate the extra dressing in a tightly sealed jar.

This recipe is one of Judith Jones' meals for one.
Servings: Serves 1
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar , preferably balsamic
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Leftover cooked chicken , cut into small chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp. vinaigrette
  • 1 small rib celery , chopped
  • 1 small scallion , finely chopped
  • 1/4 bell pepper (orange, red, green, or a combination), chopped
  • 1 tsp. drained capers
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley and 1/2 tsp. other fresh herbs if on hand (tarragon, basil, or marjoram)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. plain whole milk yogurt
  • Salad greens (about 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped toasted walnuts
To make vinaigrette: Put salt, mustard, and vinegar in a small jar (an empty Dijon mustard jar is a good size) and shake it to dissolve salt. Pour in olive oil; shake again thoroughly. Taste, then adjust seasonings to your liking.

To make salad: Toss chicken in a bowl with vinaigrette and let stand 5 minutes or so. Mix in celery, scallion, bell pepper, capers, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place mayonnaise in a small bowl and stir in yogurt, then fold into bowl with chicken mixture. Arrange greens on a plate and add chicken salad; sprinkle walnuts on top.

Adapted from The Pleasures of Cooking for One, by Judith Jones, copyright © 2009, with permission from the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.


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