Cape Cod Chicken Salad

Cape Cod Chicken Salad

Cape Cod Chicken Salad is irresistibly savory and sweet.  The minced chicken, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries, in a honey-mayonnaise dressing, makes for a delicious filling in sandwiches, or to serve with crackers, or on a bed of spring mix lettuce.  

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Appetizer plate with a scoop of Cape Cod Chicken Salad and crackers on a wooden table with a palm leaf runner and a blue mixing bowl of chicken salad.

Chicken salad of any kind is one of my favorite foods and something that can be found in my refrigerator almost all the time. Cape Cod Chicken Salad is requested by my family over and over again.  I think they like the texture of the toasted pecans and dried cranberries and the sweetness of the honey.  A sweet Hawaiian roll stuffed with this salad makes the most sublime slider that is perfect for lunch!

If you like spicy, try my Easy Buffalo Chicken Salad! The best part is by making it yourself, you can control the heat.

What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use For This Salad?

I use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (also called split chicken breasts) because they offer so much extra flavor and tenderness.

Also, they’re less expensive than boneless, skinless chicken breasts and you can save the roasted bones for stock if you’re so inclined.

Rubbing the chicken with oil and seasonings before roasting at 325 degrees until the thickest part of the chicken breasts registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer brings out all of the chicken’s flavor and is really not much more work than poaching chicken breasts.

Closeup view of a white appetizer plate with a scoop of Cape Cod Chicken Salad and crackers.

Ingredients Needed

  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • Olive oil – you could also use vegetable oil, avocado oil, or even butter.
  • Seasoning – I like using a chicken rub, but you could you salt and pepper or your favorite barbecue dry rub.
  • Pecans – or walnuts
  • Celery
  • Scallion
  • Mayonnaise
  • Honey
  • White wine vinegar  –  flavored vinegar, like tarragon, is delicious in this salad.
  • Salt and pepper

Steps To Make This Recipe

It may look like a lot of steps, but it all comes together very quickly.  Take the time to roast the chicken breasts and to toast the pecans.  Both steps improve the flavor and texture of the salad immensely.

  1. Rub the chicken breasts with oil and seasonings.
  2. Roast in the oven until juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  3. Allow the chicken to cool and remove the meat from the bones and finely chop.
  4. Toast the pecans in a nonstick skillet and allow them to cool.
  5. Toss together the minced chicken, toasted nuts, celery, scallion, mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper until fully combined and everything is moistened.
  6. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Side view of an appetizer plate with a scoop of Cape Cod Chicken Salad and crackers on a wooden table with a palm leaf runner and a blue mixing bowl of chicken salad.

Similar Recipes To Try

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Closeup view of a white appetizer plate with a scoop of Cape Cod Chicken Salad and crackers.

Cape Cod Chicken Salad


Description

Cape Cod Chicken Salad is irresistibly savory and sweet.  The minced chicken, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries, in a honey-mayonnaise dressing, makes for a delicious filling in sandwiches, or to serve with crackers, or on a bed of spring mix lettuce.


Ingredients

Scale

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (yields about 4 cups of minced meat)

4 teaspoons olive oil

4 teaspoons chicken rub seasoning (I used McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning)

½ cups chopped pecans

2 celery ribs, very finely minced

1 large scallion, very finely minced

1 ⅓ cup mayonnaise

⅓ cup honey

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Instructions

Roast the chicken breasts.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Rub each chicken breast with a teaspoon of oil and a teaspoon of chicken rub.  Place the chicken, breast up, on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 45-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven and allow them to cool.

Pull the meat from the bones, discarding the skin and bones.  Finely mince the meat and set it aside.

Toast the pecans.

Place a small, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

When the pan feels hot when you hover your hand over it, add the chopped pecans in a single layer.  Do not add any cooking spray.

Stir or toss frequently until the nuts turn golden brown and aromatic – about 2-5 minutes, depending on how finely the nuts are chopped.  

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Make the chicken salad.

In a large bowl, combine the minced chicken, toasted pecans, minced celery,and minced scallion.  

Add the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Fold the ingredients until the chicken mixture has fully combined with the mayonnaise and everything is moist.

Chill for at least 30 minutes for flavors to marry.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish - Chicken
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cape Cod Chicken Salad, chicken salad recipes, lunch recipes, dried cranberries, roasted chicken breasts, toasted pecans

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