Appetizers/ Salads/ Sandwiches

Smoked Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Roasted Pecans

Not for a sandwich kind of chicken salad.

Back when we were first married my husband always wanted me to put apples in our tuna fish salad sandwiches. Yuck, I would say, fruit doesn’t belong on a sandwich and if he wanted apples in his then he would chop some up and put on his sandwich. When it comes to any creamy type salad that goes on a sandwich my opinion is NO fruit.

But, I have changed my mind over the years (not about fruit on sandwich) about adding fruit to things like chicken salad. There are so many chicken salads that have fruit like grapes, oranges, pineapple and this one has dried cranberries. To me this type salad has to be eaten with a fork or in this case I’m using some endive leaves and radicchio as little containers and also some crackers on the side. And funny thing, the day after my bunco group ate this my husband wanted some for lunch and he said do you have any bread, and I said Noooo, you can’t have bread with that kind of chicken salad. I know that’s crazy but I gave him a fist full of crackers instead.

There are two things I always feel like make a salad recipe better, that is, if it calls for chicken or nuts you use smoked meat and roasted nuts. I do my nuts in the microwave on a Pampered Chef small baking stone and we always have something on the Kamado Joe Smoker I can use in a salad.

Maybe the next time my husband is sick I will make him some tuna salad and chop up some apples in it for his sandwich; but I don’t want to be around to watch him eat it.

Dreamland BBQ sent me some of their products to try and this salad was made with their chopped hickory smoked chicken. I couldn’t believe the things they sent me to try — ribs, bbq sauce, slaw, baked beans, chopped chicken and pork and a loaf of white bread. This is the first of their products I have tried and I could smell the smoke when I opened the package. Have to say it was delicious even though my husband didn’t smoke it. So, if there is someone special you would like to send a care package to, this is the place to go to for bbq.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: While it is still some chill in the air, why not try my Chicken and White Bean Chili.


This is the chopped smoked chicken I received from Dreamland BBQ. It made great chicken salad.


Cut celery into thin ribs then chop fine.


Put the onion and jalapeño in a food chopper (I love mine) and chop fine. Add to chicken salad mixture.


I roast my pecans on my Pampered Chef baking stone in the microwave. (Mine is 9 1/2″x7″)


Mix the mayonnaise and sour cream together and add the tarragon.


Put your chicken, celery, onions, jalapeño and nuts in large bowl. Mix together then add the dressing.


Next, chop (or leave whole) the dried cranberries and add to salad.


Add the dressing to the chicken mixture and stir until moistened. You may need to add a little more mayo/sour cream to get the consistency you want.


I used some endive leaves and some split raaicchio leaves to hold my chicken salad. Or, you can just serve a big pile on your plate and enjoy with some crackers.


Doesn’t this look beautiful with the red leaves as a bowl.


I was expecting the one package of Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuits and this was what arrived from Dreamland BBQ.

Smoked Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Roasted Pecans
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  1. 5-6 c. smoked chicken chopped
  2. 1 1/2 c. finely chopped celery
  3. 1 - 1 1/2 c. dried cranberries, chopped
  4. 2/3 c. chopped onion, or green onion
  5. 1 c. pecans, roasted and chopped
  6. 1/2 large jalapeño, finely chopped, optional
  7. 1 - 1 1/2 c. mayo
  8. 3/4 c. sour cream
  9. juice of 2 limes
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. 1 tsp. dried tarragon
  1. To the chopped smoked chicken add the celery, onion, jalapeño, roasted chopped pecans and cranberries.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper, tarragon and lime juice together and stir until well blended. Stir this into the chicken mixture until well blended. You may need a little more mayo or sour cream to get the consistency you desire. Cover and refrigerate until cold and flavors have blended.
  1. I used light Dukes mayonnaise and light sour cream. I think I could have used the whole jalapeño in the salad.
Rosemary and the Goat

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