chicken salad with grapes and raisins

Mayonnaise tends to be a rather black and white issue — you either love it or you hate it. I haven’t met many people who fall in the middle. In my house, just like with tomatoes, I’m the only one who loves mayonnaise. My husband cringes at the thought of it touching his sandwiches. And because they are loyal to their dad, my kids are following in his footsteps. But me? When I was pregnant with both kids, I didn’t crave pickles. I craved mayonnaise. The real, full-fat mayo. Well, that and Icees.

Because this week is going to be a bit of a beast, I told myself that I would be prepared for it this time. Not only will I put on my This-Week-Will-Not-Get-Me-Down game face, but I will actually pack a lunch.  Novel concept, I know, but sometimes these little things are sometimes tough to keep up with. I decided that I would make chicken salad — all for myself. And I can justify this, you see, because no one else likes mayonnaise. [imagine evil laughter here]

So, as I sit here on a rainy Sunday afternoon typing away on my Mac laptop, I’ve got two lunches chilling in the refrigerator.  I’ve made two little containers full of the most delicious chicken salad. When I finally get to squeeze in a few minutes for lunch Monday and Tuesday, the chunks of roasted chicken mixed with mayonnaise, celery, grapes, and golden raisins will give me a smile and get me through the rest of those busy days.

I am ready for this week. Oh, yes I am.

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Raisins

As much as I love full-fat mayonnaise, I just can't justify it, especially when I'm going to be the only one eating all of this delicious salad. I used a combination of light mayonnaise and nonfat Greek yogurt, and the flavor is spot on. You'll never notice the difference. Serve it up on your favorite sandwich bread, or just eat it out of a bowl.


2 chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman's Light.)
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken breasts skin-side up on a sheet pan lined with foil. Brush chicken with olive oil and sprinkle generously with Kosher salt. Roast chicken breasts for 35-40 minutes, until the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Let cool to room temperature then remove skin and bones. Cube chicken into 1/4-inch pieces.

Mix cooked chicken, celery, shallot, grapes, and raisins in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, and black pepper. Mix well, then add to large bowl with chicken. Stir well to combine.

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13 Responses to “a christmas recap and waldorf salad”

  1. Liz the Chef — December 27, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

    I haven’t had a Waldorf salad since I was growing up and my Mom used to make them for special occasions. Love your version and will try it soon!

  2. Baking Serendipity — December 27, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

    I love your husband’s tradition! We do something similar on Christmas Eve in front of the tree and it’s always fun to set the timer and run to make it into the photograph! Your grandmother looks awesome! What a great Christmas day 🙂

  3. Barbara @ Vino Luci Style — December 27, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

    I haven’t had a Waldorf salad for a very long time but am reminded of how much I like them and you’re right…they’re best if given just a bit of time meld but not too much. Craving that crispy, nutty combination even as I write.

    What a great tradition. As I beg from cousins to get some photos to me for a family section I’ve started on my site, I realize only too well how quickly those images get scattered and lost. How wonderful for you, your family and your readers that you are organizing so many family traditions of your own through this blog; now with an annual family photo!

  4. Gail — December 27, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

    Cherish the photo. It’s beautiful.
    Love that you’re wearing flipflops while we wear mukluks.

  5. What a great Christmas tradition, and the photo is full of joy. Love those bare feet. When I was a kid I hated wearing shoes, now my daughter does the same.
    Enjoy the rest of this holiday season with your loved ones.

  6. Aggie — December 27, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    first off the family photo is priceless. I almost teared up seeing you holding your grandma’s hand. just precious.

    second, I’ve never made a waldorf salad! why?? it looks delicious!

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food — December 27, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

    I grew up with Waldorf Salad and still have very fond memories of the dish.

    Hope you had a very happy holiday!!!

  8. Nancy@acommunaltable — December 27, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

    Your husband is a very smart man… what a beautiful photo of your family!!!
    Waldorf Salad – great addition to the holiday table and I love the updated recipe!

  9. Katie @The Small Boston Kitchen — December 28, 2010 @ 5:23 am

    So fun! I love the picture of you and your family, I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  10. — December 28, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    The christmas photo is a wonderful idea! My wife’s family is big and we have hosted them for many years now. Getting a photo is tough but with the tripod and the remote I can generally pull it off.

    Your post is inspiring me to pull together a bit about our Christmas celebration with them and showcase this year’s picture, something I hadn’t prepared in advance.

    I’m glad you andyour family had great times together. That is Christmas.


  11. Chris — December 28, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    You know I’m all about the BBQ so the ham and ribs would have been first on my plate, but the star of this post is the family picture. Excellent idea.

  12. Melanie Flinn — December 28, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Merry Christmas! I always love hearing about what other people eat during Christmas and their family traditions. It’s always nice to share the work, unfortunately I had to take care of everything this year. Exhausting!

  13. Pingback: The Merry Gourmet pumpkin pie with molasses | the merry gourmet

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