I have been sick for over a week, and have spent a great deal of time sleeping… but yesterday I was feeling so stir crazy from not having left the house in so long. My first stop was the grocery store… I was planning on browsing at the mall, but I broke out in a cold sweat from just driving to the grocery so I came home right after.
I have been thinking a lot about mascarpone cheese lately… I thought about fluffing it with ricotta and making cheesecake or whipping it with maple syrup and peach preserves to make a decadent frosting for pancakes. I thought a lot about what I would do with mascarpone… but when it came down to it I chose something simple where the delicate flavor of the cheese would be unexpected and delicious.
I’ve written about chicken salad here before shortly after my friend Jon visited, and this recipe is quite similar. However, as will all chicken salad recipes, this is really more of a suggestion than a recipe. It’s infinitely adaptable to suit your tastes, and if the mascarpone isn’t your style you can always use plain greek yogurt or the standard mayo instead.
I served mine with crisp lettuce leaves and roasted sweet potato, but feel free to use bread or wraps!
Mascarpone Chicken Salad with Lettuce Cups and Sweet Potato Circles (Kaprise Kitchen original)
- 1 pound of chicken tenderloins
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite salad dressing (I used balsamic vinaigrette)
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 carrots
- 1 bunch of basil
- ½ cup of mayo
- ½ cup of mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon of mustard
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
I wrote these directions in the order that I made my meal, so while the circles bake you can assemble the rest of your meal.
- Wash and slice the head of lettuce in half. Submerse the halves into cold water. Cover and refrigerate. (This helps your lettuce perk up and stay crisp)
- Heat your oven to 400F.
- Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 3/4 inch coins (thinner if you want a faster baking time).
- Toss the sweet potato with olive oil and salt. Roast at 400F for 30 minutes, or until golden and soft. (See more about roasting vegetables here)
- Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick pan. Toss the chicken in the Worcestershire and salad dressing.
- Lay the chicken tenderloins in the pan flat and cook at medium heat until cooked completely
- Remove the chicken from heat and allow it to cool.
- Wash and peel the carrots and celery (no peeling for the celery!!). Wash the basil and remove any woody stems.
- Dice the carrots and celery. Chop the basil into small pieces.
- Let the vegetables rest for about 10 minutes in a clean dishcloth to remove any excess moisture.
- Chop the chicken into 1/4 inch cubes.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken and diced vegetables and basil.
- Add the mascarpone cheese and mustard and stir until the mixture is evenly coated.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add tablespoon increments of mayo until the desired consistency and flavor is achieved. (You may choose to simply use mascarpone, but I found it just a bit too rich and sweet for the salad.) You may also add more mustard as needed.
- Pop the chicken salad into the fridge while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Remove the sweet potato from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Gently drain and spin (or shake) the moisture from the iceberg lettuce.
- Arrange plates with iceberg lettuce cups and coins of roasted sweet potato. Top each with a tablespoon or two of chicken salad and a basil leaf for presentation.
Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if you decide to try it! Or if you would like to share your chicken salad recipes!!!
One more for you guys! I actually wrote this post June 14… but like I said, I’ve been distracted with life!
A couple years back, I celebrated my friend Jon’s birthday with him. I made chicken salad sandwiches and then drove to a nearby beach. Since, I haven’t seen Jon, he has one of those high stress jobs where he’s constantly on the road now, but he came and visited this past weekend. When I was on the phone with him coordinating his arrival, I asked if there was anything in particular he wanted to do and he said, “Make the chicken salad from that time we went to the beach.” And while I do remember our lazy beach trips, the chicken salad isn’t something that really sticks out in my mind. I make chicken salad the same way I have since I can remember – a bunch of vegetables thrown together with some grilled chicken. Honestly, I think the first time I made chicken salad was because we had run out of tuna and no one was home to drive me to the grocery (you know, like a decade ago when I was still driver license-less).
There aren’t any secret ingredients, or any surprises. Instead, I mince the vegetables and taste a long the way to make sure the flavors compliment each other. The measurements aren’t precise, so you’ll need to adjust accordingly. I like mine with less onion, but others like the bite. I like a bit of sweetness – so I slice in teensy cubes of fuji apples. But feel free to tweak and adjust accordingly. The vegetables and chicken are phenomenal wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves or on toasted rolls, and whatever it is about this combination Jon loves it. So. Jon, here is your chicken salad so you don’t have to fly 5 hours to have your favorite sandwich!!
Jon’s Chicken Salad (Kaprise Kitchen, before I was even Kaprise!)
- 6 chicken tenderloins
- 3 stalks of celery, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and minced
- 1 small shallot, minced (or half an onion, minced finely) If the shallot/onion is particularly eye watering that day, I rinse it with a little vinegar and let it drain well. It helps cut the strong flavor.
- 1 small fuji apple, minced (I’ve used pear before too!)
- 1 red bell pepper, minced and set on top of a towel (I find that the peppers are a bit juicy, so I let them rest on a towel to drain a little)
- About 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of mustard, I like the grainy kind
- a squeeze of lemon (just over the apples, and it adds a nice brightness)
- salt/pepper to taste
- If you have the foresight to plan your lunch, marinate the chicken overnight before grilling. It normally doesn’t occur to me until 30 minutes before I want to eat, so I use a fork to poke holes in my chicken and brush it with salad dressing (Onion Vidalia or Italian are my two favorites) before grilling. So. In a pan, grill your chicken until cooked through. About 4 minutes per side.
- Chop the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and set it on a plate to cool while you prepare the other ingredients. No need to be too precise, the chicken will break up when you combine everything, but I do like cutting the tenderloins to remove any tendons or tough pieces that you get sometimes.
- Mince all of the vegetables. I normally start with the sweetest ones (remembering to spray my apple with some lemon to prevent browning) and do the onion last. I keep the vegetables to the size of a pencil eraser – big enough to be tasted, but small.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken and vegetables.
- This is where we get a bit imprecise. First start by adding 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of mustard. Stir the mixture together, adding a little more mayonnaise as you go to make the mixture cohesive. Taste and add more mayonnaise and mustard as necessary.
- Serve on toasted bread or with crisp lettuce as wraps.