I'm looking forward to this weekend so much it's not even funny. Not just because it's the 4th of July - a holiday I love more than most because it's my Daddy's birthday - but because I will have my first free-ish weekend for the first time in about 5 weeks. My schedule has been so jam-packed with one thing or another that I haven't had very much time to myself, and those of you who know me well know how much Poor Girl LOVES her "me time". Don't get me wrong: I hate being bored, too. It'll just be really nice to finally have a long weekend during which I have no concrete plans and can play things by ear. If I feel like going somewhere, I shall go. If I want to curl up with a good book or work on my tiny garden, I'll do that. And if I want to nap, darnit, I'm going to nap! But the other thing I'll be able to do is to finally catch up on all my half-posts and unedited pictures from dishes I've made and haven't been able to post because I've been so busy (including a special post on last weekend's crazy canning party, which should be fun).
I actually had another recipe in mind when I said I'd be posting something new soon, but I made this yesterday for lunch and thought it would be a nice change of pace. It's been awhile since I've done a good chicken salad, and this one made lovely use of some of the stone fruits that are taking over all the good farmer's markets in town. I actually scored 5 lbs. of plums, nectarines, white peaches and apricots for $5 during my last run (!!!!!!!), an absolutely unheard of deal if I were to have bought the same at a grocery store. I made good use of the plums, peaches and nectarines as snacks for work, but had yet to dive into my apricot stash. Since I was already craving a chicken salad, all I had to do was change things up a bit so I could add this sweet little fruit into the mix.
As usual, this is a great way to make use of any leftover chicken you may have hanging around in the fridge. By keeping the dressing light with nonfat yogurt, this will be creamy, slightly tangy & sweet instead of being rich & heavy. The crunch of the almonds and zip of the scallions add fun texture and flavor. If you don't have access to fresh apricots right now, or if they're too expensive in your area, dried apricots would also work well in this easy-to-make salad. And as with most chicken salads, this is very versatile! Use it in sandwiches, as a fun pita filling, on a bed of crisp greens, or just straight out of the bowl. Let's check out this no-brainer recipe!
Chicken-Apricot Salad (makes 3-4 servings; total cost per serving: ~$1.85)
2 c cooked chicken breast, torn into bite-size pieces
4 medium apricots, diced
4 green onions, chopped
2 T finely chopped cilantro
1/4 sliced or chopped almonds
1/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T honey
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and whisk together until completely combined. In a larger bowl, add the chicken, apricots, chopped onion and almonds and toss together. Add the dressing a couple spoonfuls at a time and mix together (if you like your salad a bit on the dry side, a few tablespoons should suffice; for a creamier salad, use the entire amount of dressing). Garnish with plenty of freshly ground black pepper, serve on a bed of greens or use as a filling for a nice pita sandwich, and enjoy!