Pecan Chicken Salad 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Jun 4, 2014

A classic combination of pecans, celery and grapes.

Make Ahead: Refrigerate the chicken salad for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before serving.

12 - 14

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12-14 servings; makes 13 to 14 cups

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, patted dry
  • 3 cups no-salt-added chicken broth, heated to almost boiling
  • 1 pound seedless green grapes, some cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)
  • 1 1/4 cups regular or low-fat mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches watercress (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the chicken breast halves in a single layer in a shallow baking dish, then pour in the broth. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the baking dish; bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate to cool; discard the broth. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces, placing them in a large mixing bowl as you work, and add the grapes, pecans, celery and chopped dill; toss to incorporate.

Whisk together the sour cream and mayonnaise in a medium bowl, then scrape it into the bowl with the chicken. Toss to coat, then season well with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Arrange beds of watercress on individual plates, if desired; top with equal portions of the chicken salad. Garnish with sprigs of dill. Serve right away.

NOTE: Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet; toast at 325 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The New Basics Cookbook," by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (Workman, 1989).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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