My family’s go-to meal: Chicken salad

Published 12:06 pm Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jennifer Levisen

Jennifer Levisen

Savor by Jennifer Levisen

Every family has their go-to meals. You know what I’m talking about. The meals that take very little time, the ingredients are usually on hand, everyone likes it and you don’t need to follow a recipe to make it. One of my family’s is chicken salad. Go figure, but it’s a hit in our kitchen regardless of the season and accompaniments.

Chicken Salad – Photo by Jennifer Levisen

Chicken Salad – Photo by Jennifer Levisen

We stumbled upon this recipe eight years ago on our first trip to the Naniboujou Lodge, just north of Grand Marais. It made for of one amazing lunch, and after being disappointed we couldn’t also order it for dinner we were delighted to find out the lodge had a cookbook and the chicken salad recipe was included! Hallelujah!

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Over the years, what we pair the chicken salad with has varied — toasted bread, bed of lettuce, fresh baguette — but it is always delicious. The chicken is moist and flavorful, the grapes sweet and juicy, the celery the perfect amount of crunch, and the seasonings the perfect touch! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!


Naniboujou Chicken Salad


1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, skinless and boneless

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half

3/4 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp dried leaf thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise


Bring a medium-sized pan of water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, and when the water returns to a boil turn the heat off. Leave the chicken in the hot water for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and cut into 1-inch chunks. Add the celery, grapes, garlic powder, thyme, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly.


Tips: I’ve had a lot of luck shredding rotisserie chicken for this recipe if we don’t have any chicken breasts on hand or if someone — ahem — forgets to take them out of the freezer in time. I also eyeball the mayo instead of using the listed amount, which is a little much for me. I add, mix, add and mix until I get the consistency I prefer.


Serves four


Jennifer Levisen lives and works in Albert Lea. She enjoys finding new recipes to share with her family.