By Liza Hawkins from (a)Musing Foodie
Every year our Christmas holiday celebrations seem to spread wider and wider into the month of December. This is what happens when siblings and cousins grow up, move to far reaching parts of the country and start lives of their own. On my side of the family, we have relatives in the Baltimore/DC suburbs, New York (both NYC and Upstate), Chicago and North Carolina. No, we’re not straddling both coasts, but it still makes spending time together during the holidays a challenge.
Have you ever tried visiting three different sets of families on Christmas day? It’s not pretty, especially with young, tired, overstimulated kids in tow. We, like many others, choose to spread our Thanksgiving and Christmas over a week’s time, and often not gathering on the actual holiday itself. This makes managing other on-the-day get-togethers simpler and far less stressful.
The other nice thing about spreading out our celebrations is that it gives me the opportunity to come up with new recipes to bring without also trying to keep the food at the proper temperature during eight hours of visiting multiple houses and families. The foodie in me loves this!
We kicked off Christmas this year on Sunday, Dec. 22, at my aunt’s house. My cousins had arrived from Chicago and Rochester, and my sister was also in town from Brooklyn. We did a pot luck extravaganza, with no holds barred on the food. I happened to have two lovely split chicken breasts in my fridge, as well as a container of Stonyfield whole milk plain yogurt, so I thought a chicken salad was in order. But, not just any chicken salad!
This chicken salad was dressed up for the holidays, with festive cranberries and parsley to add some color and tartness. I roasted the split chicken breasts with bacon fat (swoon) and then cut them up into chunky, bite-sized pieces. You could also buy a rotisserie chicken from the local supermarket and use that instead – just make sure you have about 3 cups’ worth of chicken when it’s all said and done.
We had this Cranberry Almond Roasted Chicken Salad during Christmas as an appetizer served with Melba toasts, but it would also work perfectly for an easy lunch in the New Year.
Cranberry Almond Roasted Chicken Salad
Prep: 5 mins | Chill: 30 mins | Yield: 3 cups
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, onions, parsley, cranberries, almonds, salt and pepper. Fold in the chicken, making sure it’s evenly coated.
Serve the chicken salad chilled with Melba toast, bib lettuce leaves, or as a traditional sandwich.