Chicken Salad a la Nanny

Summary: This is the quintessential chicken salad! Light, lovely, full of flavor! Make more than you think you need because you'll be thrilled to have leftovers.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 best-quality chicken breasts (if boneless/skinless, this is about 1.4 - 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 cup good quality chicken broth
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ cup celery, cut in a large dice
  • ½ cup red grapes, halved
  • ¾ cups pecan halves, lightly toasted and then chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ teaspoons salt + more for seasoning chicken
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Season the chicken breasts with salt. In a saucepan or skillet for which you have the lid, place them in a single layer and then pour in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to an active simmer, cover and poach until just cooked through, 15-20 minutes depending on size. When done, remove the chicken from the poaching liquid (when you can then discard), and let cool.

In the meantime, prepare your celery, grapes and pecans. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, ¾ teaspoon salt, cinnamon and lemon juice.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2" cubes and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the celery, grapes, pecans and mayo dressing, and toss gently until everything is well-combined. Cover and chill for at least an hour. Re-season with salt, lemon juice and/or cinnamon to your liking. This is great along, served with summer tomatoes, turned into a sandwich, etc.