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by on September 7th, 2012

Chicken Salad Avocado Boats

I love anything stuffed into an avocado.

Over my 20 years of catering I have made so many types of chicken salad. One of my favorites (I lifted from a tea room and then made better by smoking my own chicken rather than using deli turkey) is a smoked chicken salad that has fresh spinach leaves chopped up and hard boiled eggs along with mayo and chicken that I smoked on the smoker. You would not believe what difference the chicken makes in this salad when it is smoked.

I have done chicken salads with grapes, oranges, some have an Asian flair (which are some of my favorites). Some of my recipes have melted butter and curry added to the dressings, and some even have fried chicken skin as a garnish. I really need to pick out some of my favorites and post them.

It’s nice to have some left over chicken from dinner that you can turn into a whole NEW meal the next day. We are not huge leftover fans in this house. If I freeze leftovers then I can pull out later for a meal; but to eat the same thing later in the week has never gone over that well with us.

What makes the chicken in this recipe so special is that one night my husband cooked a chicken on our rotisserie grill. He picked some fresh herbs out of our herb garden and used some dried ones also. He stuffed them inside the chicken and oiled and rubbed some of the herbs along with a little sugar on the outside and produced a crispy skinned chicken with a tiny bit of sweetness to go along with all the other seasonings. He is turning out to be quite a good cook. My dad would be so proud of his grilling techniques. They use to always compare notes when it came to cooking things on the grill.

I very seldom use a recipe as is, but to me this recipe looked perfect. I made a few minor changes in my version. I added some celery, jalapeno, (anything with black beans and corn I think is just begging to have some jalapeño added to it), red bell pepper, and a little Dijon to the dressing. Other than that — thank you Cheeky Kitchen.com . She doesn’t say whether she uses canned corn or fresh. I took one ear of corn and threw it on the grill for 6 minutes and then cut off the cob. I really liked the idea of the corn chips for added crunch. I used tortilla chips because that’s what I had in my freezer. I also made criss-cross cuts in the avocado before topping with the chicken salad; that way the avocado came out in small cubes as you dug in to eat it.

My rotisserie chicken left over from last night.

I threw one ear of corn onto my stove-top grill and browned it just a little. You don’t have to cook it this way, it just is more interesting than a boiled ear.

Shred or chop your chicken.

Chicken Salad Avocado Boats

2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (2 1/2 cups)
1 ear (or 1/4 c.) corn, grilled or cooked and cut off cob
1/2 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. green onions, chopped
1/2 c. red bell pepper (I had it so I added some)
1/2 c. finely minced celery
1/2 c. tomatoes, diced (or more)
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. corn or tortilla chips, crushed
3 Tbsp. white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 c. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
2-4 avocado, halved and pits removed

Cook your corn first and cut off cob and refrigerate until ready to mix together. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken breast, corn, black beans, celery, bell pepper, green onions, tomatoes, cilantro and corn/tortilla chips together. Mix the vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir this into chicken mixture.

Using a paring knife score the avocado crosswise and then cross wise the other direction, making small cubes. Spoon the salad into the halved avocados. Serve immediately.

The changes I made from the original recipe are:  I add jalapeno, Dijon and lime juice to the dressing and red bell pepper.

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