This recipe for Cranberry Chicken Salad evolved over the years. It started out as a basic chicken salad recipe using a dressing that my Grandma Honey taught me how to make and had no cranberries.
Seems like dried cranberries are being added to everything these days so one day I threw in a handful when I was making my Grandma's chicken salad, and poof, this easy recipe was born.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken on a cookie sheet and spray each piece with cooking oil. Sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake 40 minutes or until skin is browned.
When it is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and shred with fingers being careful to remove small bones. Place in a large mixing bowl.
To the bowl, add celery, onion and cranberries and mix well.
My daughter doesn't eat chicken so she substitutes canned tuna fish for the chicken. Both mixtures make excellent sandwiches for all sorts of parties. Baby showers, wedding showers, tea parties and any other ladies party you can think of.
For the dressing, mix all ingredients together. This is a classic apple cider vinegar salad dressing that my Grandma taught me how to make. I use it for all different kinds of salads, including coleslaw and potato salad.
You can adjust the dressing ingredients and add different things depending on what you are making. For example, sometimes I'll add Dijon mustard for a spicy potato salad, or replace the apple cider vinegar with raspberry vinegar and drizzle over salad greens.
Another option is to add a 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder or substitute lemon pepper for regular pepper. I'm like a mad scientist when making this dressing, adding things and tasting as I go.
To finish, pour the dressing over the chicken salad and toss to coat. It's better if you refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. The cranberries soften up a bit.
This sandwich is made with un-toasted wheat bread, but for an extra special chicken salad sandwich, butter a croissant and place it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Fill it with Cranberry Chicken Salad and top with crispy lettuce. Yum!
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