Cherry Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich

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I had a lot of ingredients hanging around the apartment that I wanted to use up before going on vacation, so I came up with this recipe. I had a few kaiser buns left over from making lamb burgers that I really didn’t want to see go to waste, so I started scanning the fridge and pantry to try and figure out what to make with them. I had a chicken breast hanging out in fridge that I was going to bake and use on a romaine salad, so I decided to improvise and use it for this instead. And oh my gosh, I’m so glad I did! Also hanging out in the fridge was the remnants of a huge bag of cherries — which I was thinking about creating some sort of sauce out of before stumbling upon this idea. So I figured why the heck not, and started in on this awesome recipe.

My favorite way to use extra chicken breasts out of the value packs I buy is by baking them and throwing them in salads — especially Caesar salads. I line a pan with aluminum foil and season the breast with lemon pepper seasoning (we use Pappy’s), Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Oregano, parsley or basil would work well too in place of Italian seasoning. I’m all about improvising in the kitchen, so whatever I have on hand and doesn’t sound terrible usually gets thrown into the mix.

I preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and once preheated the chicken cooks for 45 minutes. Once I take it out of the oven, I sprinkle lemon juice on the chicken and allow it to cool. Once it’s cooled, I cut into strips, or for this recipe, I cut into smallerish chunks instead. I didn’t cut the chunks too small though, because I like big chunks and I cannot lie. Other cooks can deny though–it’s really up to you and what you prefer.

After about a day of chilling in the fridge, I took out the chicken and put it in a medium-sized bowl. Then I cut the cherries in half and pitted them. I added a few tablespoons of mayo, about a 1/2 cup of almonds and cherries to the bowl, and then stirred together until it was evenly blended. I put half of the mixture on my kaiser bun, and the rest is herstory.

You really must try this. It is sooooo good. It’s the perfect work lunch — one you’ll actually get excited about — instead of the typical sad desk lunch.

Or live a little and eat it out in the park. Or on the patio. I’ll leave that decision to you.

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Cherry Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich 

Ingredients

1 chicken breast

Pappy’s seasoning, or any lemon pepper seasoning (season to taste)

Garlic salt (season to taste)

Italian seasoning (season to taste)

1/2 cup almonds

10-15 cherries, cut in half and pitted

2 Tbsp mayo

2 kaiser buns (serves two, or keep one for the next day)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Set one chicken breast in the pan and season with Pappy’s (or lemon pepper) seasoning, garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Note: I like to create a nice top coat of seasoning using these different ingredients, but it’s really a matter of taste. 

2. Once preheated, set the chicken in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. When the time is up, take out the chicken and sprinkle lemon juice on top. Allow chicken to cool for at least one hour.

3. Cut chicken into medium- to small-sized chunks, depending on preference. Place in a sealable bag and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

4. Once chilled, place the chicken in a bowl. Add mayo, cherries and almonds, and mix until well blended. Place half of the mixture on each kaiser bun.

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