I worked in a bagel shop in college and one of the things I loved most was the chicken salad. Pizza bagels were right up there. But, I know, what? Chicken salad was far —- and i mean faaaaaaaaar —- from the most ordered item on the menu. I mean, I don’t really order tuna or chicken salad out anywhere. Those are foods I keep for home. Where I know where the mayo has been. But chicken salad, especially this chicken salad, is a thing of beauty. If I do say so myself. Check it. This ain’t accidental. Not some leftover chicken you had in the fridge. This, this, is purposeful chicken salad. With Hatch chiles.
To start, you’re gonna make chicken seasoned specifically with Mexican oregano, granulated garlic, onion, cumin, salt and pepper. Is that really necessary? We’ve all had a lot of ho-hum chicken salad, so yes. Then, you’re gonna mix in a good dose of spicy Hatch chiles (if you use mild, this will seem relatively normal, so go with at least medium with Big Jim’s), along with celery, green onion and cilantro. But to make the point, I’m not just stirring in some chiles, I’m adding them on top. And you know what, the “salad” part is mostly Greek yogurt. Still a smidge of mayo in there, but you won’t miss it. Cherry tomatoes join the party for a little sweet acidity and corn chips are in there for crunch. Potato chips are to tuna salad what corn chips/Fritos are to chicken salad. Forever and ever, amen.
Hatch Chile Chicken SaladPrint Recipe
- Mexican-Inspired Seasoning
- 2 t. Mexican oregano
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 3/4 t. granulated garlic
- 3/4 t. granulated onion
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- a few cracks of black pepper
- 6.5 oz. chicken breast, diced (about 1 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast), seasoned and cooked with Mexican-inspired seasoning
- 2 Hatch chiles, roasted - 1 diced, 1 cut into strips
- 1 green onion, white and green parts sliced
- 1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1-2 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 c. 2% Greek yogurt (Fage has the right consistency)
- 2 T. mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- A small handful of Fritos
Heat 2 T. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken breast with Mexican-inspired seasoning. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Add 1/4 c. water and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165F, turning every 2-3 minutes. Set aside and dice the chicken when cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, diced Hatch chile, celery, green onion and cilantro, if using. Stir in the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
For each sandwich, arrange the chicken salad and then top with the sliced Hatch chiles, cherry tomatoes and Fritos. Enjoy.
The seasoning mixture for the chicken in this recipe makes enough for 1 - 1.25 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken (about 2 breasts in a typical package). You can use the extra breast for tacos, enchiladas, or even just double this recipe if you want more than two sandwiches.