This chicken salad tastes so clean and fresh. It doesn’t have the heavy, mayonnaise-laden texture that is characteristic of most chicken salads, especially the store bought varieties. Clean Chicken Salad is “clean” because it’s made with homemade avocado mayonnaise instead of store bought mayonnaise, which usually contains factory refined oils such as soybean oil or canola oil. If you’re a fan of clean eating then you know that it’s all about eating whole foods, or “real” foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. This means steering clear of highly processed and refined foods. Most people don’t think of mayonnaise as a “processed food”, but, in fact, the oil in almost all commercial mayonnaise is the result of a highly intensive refining process whereby chemicals are used to extract the oil from various seeds. Factory refined oils such as canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and peanut oil are thought to cause widespread inflammation in the body and have been linked to diabetes, cancer and heart disease in multiple studies. So make you own mayonnaise! It’s SO much healthier and it tastes better too. Just be sure to use unrefined oil such as avocado oil or olive oil.
Whenever a recipe calls for cooked chicken I use this method of preparation because it produces perfectly cooked chicken. Put 3 bone-in, skin on breasts on a half sheet pan, brush them with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes at 350 degrees on the bottom rack of the oven. When the chicken is done remove it from the oven and immediately cover the pan with aluminum foil. Let the chicken sit like this until it is cool enough to handle. The resulting steam generated inside the foil covered pan will finish cooking the chicken and result is moist and succulent meat.
While the chicken is roasting make the avocado mayonnaise. I always use an immersion blender to make mayonnaise but you can also make it in a blender or food processor. If you’re worried about the possibility of salmonella poisoning from using a raw egg you can substitute 1/4 cup of a pasteurized egg product.
Combine the cooked, shredded chicken with the avocado mayonnaise and the other ingredients and you will have the most delicious, clean tasting chicken salad ever!
- 3 bone-in, skin on, chicken breasts – about 3 to 3 ¼ lbs. total
- 1 T. Olive Oil
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. savory seasoning (optional)
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 3 scallions chopped, white and green parts
- AVOCADO MAYONNAISE
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a half sheet pan. Brush all over with olive oil, and then sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper and savory seasoning if using. Place pan on the bottom rack of oven and roast for 40 minutes.
- While the chicken is roasting make the avocado mayonnaise. Put the egg, avocado oil, salt and pepper into the beaker that came with your immersion blender, the carafe of a blender, or the work bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is emulsified and is the consistency of mayonnaise. Set the mayonnaise aside in the refrigerator.
- When the chicken is done remove it from the oven and immediately cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest like this for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Once the chicken is completely cooled, cut each breast in half crosswise, remove the skin and bones, and pull the chicken apart with your fingers into bite size pieces following the grain of the meat. Alternatively, you can cut the chicken into ½ inch cubes. Combine the chicken meat, avocado mayonnaise, celery, and scallions and mix until well combined. Serves 6
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