No, really, he put a ring on it because of these.
To give you a little background, since you and I are still getting to know each other, my husband is a Marine Veteran. When we first started dating, we were both living in San Diego, and he was a Lance Corporal at his first duty station, MCAS Miramar. When he would stand duty at the barracks (for those of you who aren't familiar, duty is a 24-hour period where someone has to stand watch in case some sh*t goes down) I brought him his meals, since he usually didn't get to leave for food. For lunch, I would always bring him these chicken salad sandwiches. From day one, he raved about them, even though he's definitely a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. So I kept making them, and almost nine years later, he still loves them.
I mean, look at that delicious filling. These are no sissy sandwiches, folks. They are seriously stacked with good, hearty chicken, and lots of extra crunch from grapes, celery, and walnuts. They're also very adaptable. You can substitute the grapes for cranberries and walnuts for almonds in the fall for a more seasonal sandwich. You can also use Greek yogurt in place of the mayo, and forego the bread for lettuce wraps if you're looking to shave off a few calories. But if you're looking to feed a man with a healthy appetite, these are a great lighter option. Trust me, if they can feed a Marine, they can feed anybody.
How delicious does that look? These also make for a perfect picnic! The lettuce between the bread and salad ensures that the bread doesn't get soggy while you're traveling to your destination. Pop in some kettle chips and a bottle of tea or lemonade, and you have yourself a lovely little date!
So, without further ado, here's the recipe!
Marriage-Worthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
3 cups cooked diced chicken*
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved or quartered (depending on the size)
3 celery sticks, finely diced
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/3 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard*
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of curry powder to taste (optional)*
butter lettuce leaves, for serving*
8 slices bread, for serving*
- Mix together the first eight ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste
- Place one lettuce leaf on one slice of bread. Top with about 2/3 cup of the salad mixture. Add another lettuce leaf and top with the second slice of bread.
- Repeat step 2 to complete all four sandwiches. Cut in half and serve immediately.*
- Chicken: I like to use rotisserie chicken for sake of ease, but you can prepare the chicken yourself. I find that three large breasts will do the trick. If you're in a pinch, canned chicken will also work, but the flavor is not quite as good.
- Dijon: I prefer the country-style Dijon, because I feel that it gives this dish some texture and visual interest, but you can use plain Dijon, of course. If you're in a pinch, you can use a splash of red wine vinegar and a pinch of mustard powder instead. The flavor isn't quite the same, but it's still very tasty.
- Curry Powder: This is my mom's (who I have to credit for this recipe) secret ingredient that gives this recipe a little twist. Depending on how much you add, it can give the dish a little mystery, or completely change up the vibe. It's up to you!
- Lettuce: Butter lettuce is my favorite for sandwiches, but these would also taste great with arugula or a nice spring mix.
- Bread: I like to try and find a nice thickly-sliced whole-grain bread, however this would really taste good on whatever you prefer.
- Serving: As mentioned above, you can take these for a picnic. If you want to do that, just be sure that you place the lettuce on both slices of bread so that the salad doesn't get the bread soggy. Then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to keep them from shifting.
You can also make the salad ahead of time (preferably a day at most), and prepare the sandwiches when you're ready to serve them. In this case, just keep the salad mix in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
That's it! Super simple and incredibly delicious. Let me know how you like to make your chicken salad in the comments below!