avocado chicken salad

Every now and then I hit the grocery at the end of the day when I don’t feel like cooking and grab a rotisserie chicken. Most places put them on sale to get rid of them (since they’ve likely been sitting under a heat lamp for most of the day … oy.) Walmart cuts the price down to $2.49! So, although I tend to hate prepared foods, if I’d been to work, and then to a football game at the middle school, soccer practice, cheerleading practice, a book signing, etc, I’d grab the bird, some mashed potatoes in a tub, a head of broccoli and finally roll up to the house around 9pm.

While the girl child did her homework and boy child pretended to do his, I’d give the broccoli a quick steam, pop the potatoes in the microwave and dissect the chicken. Dinner is served, ladies and gentlemen. The rest of the chicken would end up in a pot of chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup and we’d have a few more meals of that tired old bird.

Now that it’s just me in the house, there are still some nights I don’t feel like doing any cooking, nights when that drastically reduced overcooked poultry with questionable and super high sodium seasoned skin manages to make it across my threshold. I have a bit of it for dinner … and then I’m faced with a whole bunch of leftover chicken. I’ve learned to get creative with it instead of making a big ol’ pot of something and eating that for days on end.

I was out of mayo one night … I never have much of the stuff around anyway. I typically buy the tiny jar when I’m making some sort of potato salad to take to some gathering, or when I’m making up a batch of dips for appetizers. It gets used up fairly quickly. But now I had this chicken and I found myself wanting some chicken salad. I also had no grapes, and I like my salad with a sweet componet to combat the salty creaminess of the mayo. The mayo I didn’t have. I opened my fridge and my pantry, assessed my options, and came up with the following.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 finely chopped apple (I almost always buy gala, so that’s what I used)
  • 1 stalk finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion (that’s just the kind I had. I’m sure another kind of onion would work just as well … or even green onion.)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (skip this if you don’t have fresh)
  • The juice of half a lime (or lemon or whatever citrus you have on hand. Actually, if it’s grapefruit, don’t use half. Go for about a tablespoon of the citrus. Which is what I should have listed as the ingredient, but I’m not backspacing all this now.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used freshly ground sea salt and coarse black pepper after it was done and I did the tasting. It’s easy to make this too salty, because the chicken started out pretty salty when it was rescued from it’s heat lamp purgatory.)

Throw all the stuff (except the salt and pepper) in a bowl and mix it, mashing the avocado as you go so you don’t end up with too many large chunks. Cover and let the bowl hang out in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavors mingle.

When you’re ready to eat, pull it out, add your salt and pepper and enjoy. It’s good as a sandwich or as part of a salad or (my favorite way) scooped right out of the bowl with some crackers.

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