Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad

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You will never again have trouble getting your family to eat broccoli once you serve them this main dish salad. A satisfying meal that is simple to make, preparing this quick summer salad recipe allows you more family time and less time in the kitchen prepping and cooking. There are so many tastes and textures going on in this salad. It is slightly creamy, tangy, and crunchy – there's something in there that will please everyone. The addition of fresh grapes might seem odd if you've never lived in the South, but they are a traditional part of broccoli salad and add a fresh crunch and a little sweetness. Add the chicken after the salad has a chance to marinate so it stays crispy. Purchase fried chicken tenders from the deli section of your supermarket or you can pick some up from your favorite fast food chain. This recipe makes an ideal addition to the menu for an outdoor picnic, barbecue, church potluck or even the Thanksgiving table. Do you like to play with your food? Use the fried chicken and broccoli combination as a base and switch up your other fillings. Add cranberries, toasted pecans or almonds, halved cherry tomatoes, diced apples, shallots instead of red onion, or a number of other ingredients. This salad just gets better the longer it sits, which means leftovers are fantastic. Before the family eats it all, package some up for your lunch the next day. You need to let this salad chill before adding the chicken, which makes this a great make-ahead recipe. If you need to take a dish to party, try this recipe; simply wait until you arrive before adding in the chicken.

Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
Yield:
4 to 6 serves

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2/3 cup olive oil

  • 5 cups broccoli florets

  • 1 1/2 cups seedless grapes, halved

  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (from 1 small red onion)

  • 5 fried chicken tenders, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

Directions

  1. Whisk together honey, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Drizzle in oil, whisking until emulsified, 30 seconds. Stir in broccoli, grapes, cheese, almonds, and onion. Cover; chill at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Stir in chicken before serving.

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