Chicken salad is spring and summer food at its best — easy, creamy and cool. Everyone has their favorite, but this incredibly simple version is my own. Just a touch of mayonnaise; scoops of tangy yogurt. Heaps of fresh green dill. Crunchy shallots that add a little glint of pink.
And it only gets better after a night in the refrigerator.
Since I first shared this recipe way, way back in 2007, I've made it many times — for wedding showers and quick lunches and summer suppers.
The magic of this recipe is truly in its simplicity. There's very little to do, but it all works. The yogurt is tangy and fresh, and I find that it tenderizes the chicken. Even if you slightly overcook the chicken breast, it will soften up as it sits in the yogurt dressing.
And the dill and the shallots are fresh and pungent together, not to mention beautiful with the pink and green thing they have going on.
It's really my favorite chicken salad of all time — I hope you love it as much as I do!
Yogurt & Dill Chicken Salad
For the chicken:
Makes about six 1/2-cup servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the salad:
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine, optional
18 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Poach the chicken: Melt the butter over medium heat in a wide, shallow Dutch oven or sauté pan. Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter, then add the white wine, if using, and the chicken breasts. Add enough water to cover the chicken breasts by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Cool thoroughly.
→ Get the Step-by-Step Instructions: How To Poach Chicken Breasts
Shred with two forks then chop the resulting shreds finely. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken.
Make the salad: Whisk together the yogurt and mayonnaise. Toss with the chicken. Mix in the shallots and dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors combine. The chicken salad will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Substitute cooked chicken: A shortcut for this recipe is buying cooked chicken, like Costco's cooked shredded chicken meat, or using your own precooked chicken from the freezer. Simply substitute about 2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded chicken.
Updated from recipe originally published July 2007.