Cranberry Pistachio Light Chicken Salad

July 29, 2015

Cranberry Pistachio Light Chicken Salad


One of the many things that make my life worthwhile is shelling pistachios.
Seriously. It’s totally therapeutic for me.
Especially when I encounter one of those pesky ones that have only opened a tiny bit.
It’s like a challenge for me: ‘Stubborn pistachio’ v ‘Mike’.

Pistachios




I usually start using my fingernails to pry it open. When that fails, I bite it and hope my teeth don’t break.
When even that doesn’t work I bring out the artillery.
Pliers are my weapon of choice. Just as powerful as the hammer, but with more control and less shards.
Pliers are also infinitely better than tweezers, which generally break before the pistachio does. And you’re gonna end up with a barely open pistachio and one angry girlfriend on your hands — since you’ve borrowed her tweezers.
Another way to open a hermetically sealed pistachio is by destroying the shell completely with a laser (pew, pew, pew!) Or shoot it at a wall with an air cannon. If you happen to have one of those cool gadgets.

Cranberries




A friend of mine suggested that I buy shelled pistachios and just chill out.
I had to object. First off I am not a slacker; secondly pistachios just taste better when you shell them yourself.
Not to mention that with shelled ones you have some form of portion control. With the preshelled ones, there's no stopping. You’re going to inhale them by the handful.
You may not know this, but pistachios have been referred to as the “mindful snack” because they take longer to eat and require the snacker to slow down.
So yeah, my point.

Cranberry Pistachio Light Chicken Salad




Pistachios are great as a snack but even better in chicken salad - especially when paired with dried cranberries and an extra creamy dressing.
For realz.
Cranberries and pistachios healthfully brighten up the dish, all the while adding fragrance and flavor.
This Cranberry Pistachio Light Chicken Salad is crunchy, sweet, salty, juicy, and tangy — just the way a chicken salad should taste.
All in all, an easy chicken salad recipe that will impress everybody!

Cranberry Pistachio Light Chicken Salad


Cranberry Pistachio Light Chicken Salad                                                                     Print this recipe!

Note. I like to boil chicken breasts for chicken salad, as it makes for extra tender melt-in-your-mouth chicken. Feel free to use any leftover chicken you have available though (a purchased rotisserie chicken would also do great.)

Ingredients
Serves 4

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 vegetable bouillon (I used Rapunzel)
½ onion, separated
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 celery stalks, divided
1 (6 oz / 200 gr) container Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (make your own mayo with this recipe)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
¼ cup pistachios, chopped

Directions

In a medium saucepan, place chicken breasts, 1 celery stalk cut into big pieces, ¼ onion, parsley, and cover with water. Add bouillon, bring to a boil, lower to simmer, and cook covered for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken, let cool, and cut into small bites*.
In a small bowl mix the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, and parsley. Set aside.
Chop the remaining ¼ onion and 2 celery stalks.
In a large bowl toss chicken, celery, onion, cranberries, pistachios, with Greek yogurt mixture. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
The chicken salad will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

*Do not throw away all that good tasting chicken broth you just made. Skim the excess fat and save it for later use (you can also freeze it.)

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 195 calories, 8 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of protein.

31 comments:

  1. I understand the Shell Struggle. I saw a video recently where you use a shell half to open the ones with tiny cracks - it totally works! Takes a little getting used to, though. Love me some pistachios, and I agree about buying them in the shell - it builds character to have to work for your food!

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    1. Building character is one of the reasons why I buy whole pistachios...

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  2. Duuuuuuuuuuuude Chicken Salad never looked so good before!!!! Adding pistachios and cranberries is such an awesmazingly BRILLIANT idea! LOVE IT! So - can you send me some of this along with those thumbprint cookies you are mailing over? Just make sure you don't use David's mail lady!
    BTW - I love shelled peanuts - they aren't as tricky to open as pistachios - but the opening part is the fun (and therapeutic) part!

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    1. Let's not even compare pistachios and peanuts. It will be like comparing apples and oranges...

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  3. I am so with you, no way I would ever buy shelled pistachio. They are so cute with the shell. Also, I can eat one for every two shelled :)

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  4. This looks delicious! And shelled pistachios may be more convenient time wise, but they are not budget friendly :)

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    1. Exactly, I save money and have loads of fun too!

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  5. HAHA! You crack me up, 'Mike vs. Pistachio', too funny. You're much more determined than I with the stubborn variety. I just end up tossing those! I love a good chicken salad, but haven't had one in a long time! Love the addition of yogurt to this, so I will hopefully be trying it soon. Thanks!

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    1. You call me stubborn some of my friends call a loon... :/

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  6. yum! I love reading your posts. The pistachio and cranberry is a great combination.

    http://xoxobella.com/

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    1. It's one of the best combos known to mankind ;)

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  7. HA! I TOTALLY love shelling pistachio's too! So therapeutic (plus i'm also stubborn)! I am glad you objected to your friend about purchasing pre-shelled 'stachios- they definitely just don't taste the same! Given my love of pistachios, obviously I am seriously digging this creamy dreamy chicken salad! Love that you paired it with cranberries- that sounds like a super scrumptious combination! Can't wait to give this salad a try! :) Cheers, buddy!

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  8. I have to say I'm the exact opposite when shelling pistachios! I rush to get it done and end up getting them all over the floor :/
    I would do that for this salad though! It looks amazing!!!

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    1. Shelling pistachios is an art that requires patience and cannot be rushed... :D

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  9. Chicken salad is my favorite meal!This looks so delicious!!!A must try I think!
    http://www.2activelab.com

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  10. Shelling pistachios is not for sissies, and I have hurt my finger more than once in a battle with the real pesky ones...

    Whenever I find shelled ones for a reasonable price (almost never!), I bring a bag home

    This salad is simply superb! Every flavor is calling my name, maybe the mayo not quite so much, but you used very little, so I guess I could go for it

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    1. Shelling pistachios is for tough people Sally. People like us!

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  11. LOL I use lasers. All the time. Looks great, Mike! Love the colors from the pistachios, cranberries, and parsley.

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    1. Aw man, I'm so jealous. I want a laser too...

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  12. Mike, even though I'm a humble guy, I know I make fabulous salads. Probably the most fabulous salads among food bloggers (haha, I told I'm humble). But I've got to accept this one sounds and looks amazing! Great combo and finesse. I mean, welcome in my exclusive league:)

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    1. Thanks man for making me part of your club, I really appreciate it!

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  13. WOW!!! Magnifica combinazione di ingredienti

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  14. Mike, I seriously laughed way too hard at this post ;) I really love all of the fresh summer ingredients that went into this. And I hate to admit it, but I'm a wimp. I simply cannot shell pistachios. I always end up screaming at the particularly stubborn ones.
    Anywho...
    This salad looks amazing, and I seriously love chicken salad.

    Btw, your posts crack me up! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I totally fail at portion control even when shelling my own pistachios, they're just way too addictive! This looks like one delicious chicken salad, and I'm putting it on the menu for our next camping trip (it looks like the perfect hiking food)!

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  16. Oh, yum. I have to make this now! I love chicken salad, and cranberries, and pistachios...so all in all, this should be my favorite thing in the world, I will let you know!!! - Annie @ plussizetodownsized.blogspot.com

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  17. This tastes so good :) I added some green grapes to it swell and it has been my go-to snack for post workouts. Yum Yum!

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    1. I have to try adding grapes, I'm sure that's something I would really enjoy. Thanks for sharing Erika!

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