On day 197 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I prepared a homemade chicken salad.
It’s no secret that I’m in love with my pressure cooker. Not only does it save time, but it also produces some of the most tender meat I’ve ever eaten in my life. Sure, Dutch ovens produce similar results, and if you have hours and hours to stand by the stove or an open fire, then by all means go for it.
But aside from weekends, I usually don’t have the time.
In preparation for a weekend camping trip with friends, there was a LOT of food prep to do: cook bacon, boil eggs, assemble a veggie tray, bake blueberry muffins, prepare chicken salad and other snacks. Needless to say, the pressure cooker was my trusty sidekick in all the madness.
When we lived in Texas, we fell in love with HEB’s chicken tarragon salad, and when we moved to Seattle I did my best to recreate it. The medley of chicken, tarragon, pecans, and grapes is hard to beat. The grapes add a sweetness that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
I prefer to use whole chicken when I can. It’s usually cheaper than buying select cuts of meat, and I like the idea of using the whole bird so that less gets wasted. But logistics aside, the flavor profile is better in my opinion.
Using the pressure cooker, the chicken was fully cooked in less than 30 minutes, and once it was cooled I added the other ingredients that I had prepped while it was cooking.
This simple recipe is versatile too. It can be used to make sandwiches or served as an appetizer with crackers. Plus, it’s free of any preservatives or stabilizers – or anything else that isn’t real food.
Making a homemade chicken salad may not seem like a significant act of self-care, but in the grander scheme of things, it’s the sum of the little things that makes the biggest difference.