I've been on a blueberry kick lately, even though they aren't in season. I've made these fabulous blueberry muffins, blueberry cardamom smoothies (I'll be sharing those soon), and my all-time favorite lunch— blueberry chicken salad.
This delicious dish was one of the first I discovered when I came to visit my husband in Wisconsin (he lived there for nearly a year before we got married.) I came up to visit every opportunity I could, but I was working two jobs, finishing up my my senior thesis and catching up on work from the leave of absence I took the previous semester. My time to visit was both sporadic and limited, I'd often come up for a day or two at a time before turning around and making a marathon sprint back home (hopefully arriving in time for my first class on Monday.)
While I waited for him to get off of work I would walk over to the coffee shop near his apartment, grab a bite to eat, and attempt to get some work done. My favorite menu item was called the bluebird, a chicken salad made with dried blueberries, walnuts, and white cheddar served on a locally made baguette. It was delicious, addictive, and I knew I had to figure out a way to have it more often. After toying around with different ingredients and proportions for a few weeks I finally came up with something that tasted even better than the original. Seven years later it still remains one of my favorite things to make for lunch and since it uses dried blueberries it can easily be made year around.
Do you have a favorite go-to lunch item? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Blueberry Chicken Salad
makes 3 - 4 sandwiches
16 ounces chicken breasts
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup chicken broth or stock
¼ cup dried wild blueberries
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup celery, diced
1 Tablespoon shallot, diced
⅛ cup walnuts
mixed spring greens
- Lightly season the chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper, then place in a skillet with chicken broth or stock. Bring the stock to a simmer, cover the skillet and cook for 10 - 15 minutes on medium-low or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160°F.
- Dice chicken, add dried blueberries, and cover while the chicken cools. The steam from the cooked chicken will rehydrate the blueberries.
- Once the chicken has cooled add mayonnaise, celery, shallot, and walnuts. Mix well, then refrigerate overnight.
- Serve on a croissant topped with mixed spring greens. Enjoy!
This dish is best when prepared in advance and allowed to sit overnight, but will be ready to eat after about 4 hours of refrigeration. It can be stored in a sealed container for 3-4 days.