Caramelized Orange and Smoky Sweet Paprika Chicken Breasts make the ideal base for a refreshing Orange Almond Chicken Salad. Chunks of roast chicken are tossed with fresh orange segments, roasted salted almonds, chopped celery, bits of orange bell pepper, minced red onion, and chunks of crunchy fennel. The salad is bound together with a creamy orange dressing that is both light and luscious. I think you will agree that is is a chicken salad that will chase the winter blues away!
Orange Almond Chicken Salad with Creamy Orange Dressing
Serves 6 to 8
For the salad:
6 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (we used Smoked Paprika Chicken)
1 1/2 cups chopped, seeded orange segments
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fennel bulb
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2/3 cup chopped roasted salted almonds
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Creamy Orange Dressing:
5 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tablespoons grated orange zest
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey (we used orange blossom)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1. To make the salad, put the chicken, orange segments, bell pepper, celery, red onion, fennel and thyme into a large bowl. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed. Set bowl aside.
2. In the work bowl of a food processor or medium bowl, add the orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, paprikas and cayenne pepper. Pulse or stir the ingredients until blended. Slowly add the oil to the orange juice mixture while running the food processor or stirring by hand with a whisk. When all of the oil is incorporated turn off the processor or stop whisking. Stir the mayonnaise into the dressing until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
3. Pour the creamy orange dressing over the chicken salad mixture. Stir salad until it is evenly coated with the dressing. Add the roasted almonds and toss the salad until it is well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste to the chicken salad, if desired. Chill the salad for 20 minutes in the refrigerator (or longer) and serve.