This recipe is a my take on a fruity, crunchy, creamy chicken salad incorporating a few of the traditional foods of Imbolc: dairy, poultry, and seeds.
First up, the list of ingredients:
Leftover roasted chicken (not shown), Greek yogurt, mayo, the juice of a lemon, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper, pecans, seedless red grapes and celery.
If you’re using the chicken leftover from another meal, this is a super easy and quick meal that’s also quite healthy.
First off, we’ll need to mix up the dressing.
Combine 3/4 cup of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup mayo, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (if the dressing is a little sweet for your taste, add a bit more at a time until it’s to your liking), 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, and salt and pepper to taste. In a pinch, you could substitute regular yogurt for the Greek yogurt, but it will give the dressing a thinner consistency.
Next, we’ll throw the following into a larger bowl: 2-3 cups of cubed leftover chicken (if you’re cooking fresh chicken for the recipe, cube it and let it cool slightly before using);
2 cups seedless grapes (I suggest smaller grapes that are sweet/tart and leaving them whole. For larger grapes, cut them in half);
and a cup of thinly sliced celery (about 3 large stalks).
Add the dressing to the chicken mixture, and fold it in to mix well. To this mix, we are going to add about 1/2 cup of chopped, toasted pecans (walnuts would be a decent, and less expensive, substitution).
To toast the pecans: If you are using whole pecans, just chop them into small pieces. Take a small pan and place it over medium-high heat. Add the pecans to the dry pan and shake or stir them constantly, until you can smell the nutty aroma coming from the pan.
Remove from the heat and place them immediately on a plate to cool (they might burn if you leave them in the pan).
Add the cooled pecans to the chicken mixture and toss gently. Top with 2 tsp of poppy seeds (1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds would be an excellent substitution), and mix again. Chill for 1/2 an hour or so to let the flavors really come together.
You can eat this chicken salad right out of a bowl, over a bed of greens (I’d suggest field greens), on a nice crusty bread or in a pita pocket.
Mrs.B.’s Imbolc Yogurt Chicken Salad
For the dressing:
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (prosperity)
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon lemon juice (add more to taste) (purification)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (love)
salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
2-3 cups leftover, cubed chicken
2 cups seedless red grapes (cut in half if large)
1 cup chopped celery (about 3 large stalks)
1/2 cup toasted pecans
2 tsp poppy seeds (restful sleep)
In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients well; set aside. In a large bowl, mix chicken, grapes and celery. Add dressing and fold to mix. Add pecans and poppy seeds, fold to mix. Chill for 1/2 hour; serve.
Get the kids involved! This is a recipe that would be easy for teens to complete alone. Get younger kids measuring and stirring. Grapes can be cut in half using a plastic knife by kids with good fine motor skills (with parental supervision). Have a discussion while you prepare the salad about the magical correspondences of all the ingredients.
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For more food correspondences, check out my book, Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes!