Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Pickle Ranch Chicken Salad


Printable version
It’s official. Ranch seasoning mix is now a “staple” item in my pantry. Normally I don’t like seasoning packets because of the sodium and preservatives that they contain. The ranch seasoning has all that stuff but it’s a great way to take recipes to the next level.

Over the last couple months, I’ve made ranch coleslaw, 2 different sauces and now this chicken salad that utilizes the seasoning and it really makes the flavor pop! Maybe I should try and make a homemade version because I’m hooked and looking forward to trying it in more dishes.

For this recipe, I use the pickle-ranch combo that I used in a delicious sauce a couple weeks ago. The chicken salad also contains fresh tarragon which adds a hint of liquorice, which reminds me of fennel.

Overall, this chicken salad contained a ton of flavor, led by the zesty ranch and complimented by the sweet but tart pickle flavor. The tarragon comes to play at the end of the bite, but really makes it’s presence know. I think I could have swapped the pickle for bacon and taken this the smoky and salty route which would have been equally unique and delicious, but I think that is for another post.

BEHIND THIS BITE
Sweet Pickle Ranch Chicken Salad

I found mini bagels at Meijer while shopping for the ingredients in the chicken salad recipe and as soon as I saw them I knew I had to use them for the bread. I'm glad I picked them up because the photo seems to jump right out of the graphic.

I have worked really hard over the last two years to become a better food photographer and sandwiches and tacos are my favorite things to style and shoot. They stand alone on a white background really well – actually I like food that can be eaten by hand, that way there is no plate in the picture, it’s just what is going to be eaten. In the end, I love shooting all types of food, it just seems that the sandwiches and tacos are my favorite photographs to take. Ironically, they're also my favorite foods to eat!

Eat well, cook often ...

THE RECIPE
Sweet Pickle Ranch Chicken Salad

Serves 6; 10 minutes active, 30 minutes resting
3 C Grilled chicken, diced
1 C Mayonnaise
1/2 C Celery, diced
1/2 C Bread and butter pickles, diced
1 pkg Ranch seasoning mix (1 oz)
1 Tbs Tarragon, minced
Juice of 1 Lemon
8 to 10 Mini bagels
Lettuce for garnish

Make chicken salad
In a large bowl mix together, chicken, mayonnaise, celery, pickles, ranch seasoning, tarragon and lemon juice. Store in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Assemble sandwiches

Place a spoonful of chicken salad on a mini bagel, garnish with lettuce, then serve.

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