Finally! Easter is approaching, and what better way to embody spring goodness than with eggs? I’m a true egg salad fan. Not that questionable kind, you can find pre-made at the grocery store, but of a truly fresh version, not drenched in mustard, mayonnaise, or relish! What’s even better is potato salad, which I make very similarly to my egg version. Even better yet, is roasted chicken salad. Okay, pump the brakes! That’s an abundance of salads regardless of the season. I think we can simplify things and build one fantastic dish out of all three! Since I make all of them individually with similar ingredients, the all-for-one approach just seems right. This recipe is tried-&-true—I often get requests to bring this one to potlucks and BBQ’s, and it always goes fast! All three of these cold salads blend seamlessly into one, which goes great as a side, and is hearty enough to stand on it’s own.
The focus is on fresh spring flavors: dill, green onion, celery . . . and we’re going to take it up a notch with an edible arrangement. This will be company-worthy and festive (don’t worry, you won’t have to dye anymore Easter eggs).
Let’s break it down. We’re going to do some beginning prep (and this can be done in the days ahead). We’ll start by oven-roasting herbed chicken breasts, boiling mixed fingerling potatoes, and hard-boiling our eggs. After this, we will prep and chop the other side dish ingredients like green onion, parsley, celery and a lil’ garlic. Seasonings will follow, then our mayo and lemon. And then we’re done. Well, since it’s Easter, did I forget to mention steaming the artichokes? Oh yes, we’ll be steaming fresh artichokes to use as edible ‘cups’ for the salad. Trust me, it’s tasty (not to mention pretty).
So, shall we?
- 2 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 6 fresh eggs (to hard boil)
- 1 lb fresh, mixed fingerling potatoes (or new potatoes will do)
- 5 stalks celery (trimmed & chopped)
- 3 green onions (chop, both greens & whites)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon wedge (for juice)
- ½ cup light mayonnaise (Best Foods!)
- 3 T prepared Italian dressing
- ** 2 small, fresh artichokes (for steaming), if serving salad in them (optional)
- 2 T Italian seasoning (for baking chicken breasts)
- S&P for roasting chicken
- 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), for roasting chicken
- 2 tsp dried dill weed
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- 1 T paprika
- a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp seasoning salt (like Lawrys)
- *Seas salt & ground black pepper to taste (be careful here because the chicken is heavily seasoned already!)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Rinse, dry & season chicken breasts with ample Italian seasoning, S&P.
- Roast in oven for as long as needed to cook. (mine were Mammoth size, so took a long time!)
- **If serving in steamed artichoke cups then trim artichokes by cutting edges of leaves and leveling stalk, then boiling for ~45 mins or until tender.
- Gently boil your mini mix of potatoes (like fingerlings) or New potatoes, till tender with fork, drain & set aside.
- Hard boil your eggs. Amply cool & peel. Slice in an egg-slicer, or chop.
- Chop your green onion (greens & whites), celery, garlic cloves & parsley.
- Once potatoes are done boiling & tender, cool then chop potatoes with skins on.
- Chop chicken breasts once cooked & cooled.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients, then add all seasonings and stir.
- To this add the Italian dressing, mayonnaise & squeeze of lemon, combining well.
- S&P further to taste, combine and place in fridge to chill.
- After artichokes are steamed & cooled, remove inside leaves, leaving outer ring of edible green leaves as a 'cup' for serving salad.
- Top of hearts should be visible/accessible now, so scrape the white internal leaves/film off top making it edible and exposing the artichoke heart.
- Spoon the cold salad into artichoke cups and enjoy with fork, and eating with the edible half of the artichoke leaves.
We’re Easter-ready with this festive recipe. A practical marriage of side dishes giving us protein’s best, spring veggies, and a lot of flavor! If you wait to make a batch right after Easter, then you’ll have plenty of Easter Eggs from the hunt to work with). Time to get peeling—I hope you enjoy!