This is one of my favorite chicken salads. I first made it over four years ago, and love it now as much as I did back then. I had a huge, fresh basil plant back then, making this a little easier to plan, but oh well. It's still worth it to buy the fresh basil in little packets. The original recipe calls for baking the chicken breasts, but I find that it's much easier and faster to just saute them. I take frozen chicken tenders and saute them (without even thawing first) in a non-stick skillet with olive oil and garlic salt. As they are finishing up cooking, I squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon over them. The chicken is so flavorful this way- I could just eat it as is at this point!
Parmesan-Basil Chicken Salad
adapted from Allrecipes
6-7 chicken tenders, or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup mayonnaise (can use low-fat)
1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil, rinsed
1 clove fresh garlic, optional (I'm not into raw garlic right now, so I omitted this)
1 stalk fresh celery, finely chopped
1/4- 1/2 fresh red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1.Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken tenders and sprinkle one side with garlic salt. Cook about 2-3 minutes and flip over to cook the other side. Season that side with garlic salt. After 2-3 minutes, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the chicken, and continue to cook for about a minute. Check for doneness; set aside to cool. Chop into chunks.
2.In a food processor, puree the mayonnaise, basil, and garlic.
3.Combine the chunked chicken, pureed basil mixture, chopped celery, chopped red bell pepper, and Parmesan cheese; toss. Refrigerate, and serve over lettuce leaves or on bread rolls.
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