I met Sonoma Chicken Salad nearly 13 years ago at Whole Foods on 6th & Lamar where Anthropologie and REI currently sit. I couldn't get enough of this salad, so I read the ingredient list and bingo: honey! Honey makes everything better.
I remember too, when this salad was $6.99 per pound and today it's $12.99 per pound. Goodness gracious, if you ask me! I hardly ever buy this salad now, especially when I know I could easily make it.
This is a simple, no-nonsense type of salad. No cooking involved! It's your classic chicken chopped and mayonnaise based cold salad. It's the salad you take with you to your next summer potluck. This salad goes great in lettuce cups or between two pieces of toasted bread. You can also have this salad, just the way it is.
SONOMA CHICKEN SALAD
Adapted from Whole Foods Market
1 rotisserie chicken, skinless and boneless, shredded (I used Central Market's)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups green seedless grapes, halved
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
<preparing the chicken>
Remove the skin off the chicken, and discard.
Shred the chicken and discard the bones.
Set aside in a large bowl
<making the dressing>
Mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
<assembling the salad>
Add the walnuts, grapes and celery to the chicken.
Add the dressing to the chicken mixture.
Toss to combine.
Use the "traditional" or "original" flavor rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store.
Make sure the chicken is cool enough to combine with the other ingredients. In fact, I put mine in the fridge before I shred it.
You can use red seedless grapes instead of green grapes if you like.
You can also use pecans instead of walnuts in the salad.