Austin360Cooks: What’s your secret to chicken salad?

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The chicken salad at Walton's Fancy and Staple has pistachios, apples and bacon. Photo by Jody Horton.
The chicken salad at Walton's Fancy and Staple has pistachios, apples and bacon. Photo by Jody Horton.

The chicken salad at Walton’s Fancy and Staple has pistachios, apples and bacon. Photo by Jody Horton.

With warmer weather comes picnic weather, and that means it’s time to find a new spin on chicken salad.

At Walton’s Fancy & Staple, 609 W. Sixth St., you’ll find pistachios, parsley, apples, grapes, red onions and even a little bacon in one of their most popular salads. Some people can’t stand grapes or apples in their version; for me, it’s the celery I try to avoid at all costs. (Hasn’t someone discovered a genetic fluke, as with cilantro, to justify why I just can’t like those green stalks?)

Many of us are still missing the chicken salad from the Kitchen Door on Lake Austin Boulevard, which closed several years ago and whose recipe I still haven’t been able to track down, but we’d love to hear who makes your favorite chicken salad and what ingredients makes yours stand out. Let us know by emailing abroyles@statesman.com, calling 512-912-2504 or making a batch and adding #Austin360Cooks to the photo on social media.

Bacon and Pistachio Chicken Salad

1 whole free-range chicken
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. pepper, divided
1/2 cup pistachios
1 stalk celery, diced small
1/2 red onion, diced small
1 green apple, diced small
1/2 cup bacon, diced small
1/2 bunch minced parsley
1/2 cup halved grapes
1 cup mayonnaise

Place the chicken on a roasting pan, sprinkle with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until the juices run clear. Once finished cooking, place into the refrigerator to cool.

While the chicken is cooling,place the pistachios into a food processor and give it a few pulses until the nuts are broken down into a small size. Or you may also chop them with a sharp chefs knife.

Once the pistachios are blended, pour into a large mixing bowl, add all the other ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.

Begin to pick the chicken (removing the skin first and discarding) and pull the meat away from the bone. (You can either pull it off in small chunks or chop it with a knife.)

Once finished picking, place the chicken into the mayonnaise mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving. Serves 8.

— Walton’s Fancy and Staple


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