Monday, June 4, 2012

BBQ-Smoked Chicken Salad

This chicken salad recipe uses leftover smoked chicken for a robust, subtly smoky flavor that's far more vibrant and interesting than traditional chicken salad made from baked, roasted, boiled or canned chicken. You can adjust the seasoning amounts and ingredient quantities to suit your taste preferences--just be sure to use the same BBQ rub in the salad that you used to season the chicken before you smoked it. Chilling the prepared chicken salad for a couple of hours will bring out the best flavor.

I chopped the smoked chicken and other ingredients by hand for a chunkier texture. If you prefer a smoother chicken salad that's more like a spread, use a food processor to finely chop the chicken & onion (and even the roasted pepper if desired), then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

The following recipe yielded about 3 cups of chicken salad, which will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days if not using all at once. If you are making my BBQ-Smoked Chicken Salad for a picnic, party or other occasion with lots of mouths to feed, simply multiply the ingredients EXCEPT for the BBQ rub, which might be a little too pronounced if you double it (start off with a little less than double and taste for balance, then adjust as needed). Enjoy this chicken salad as you would any other: With a green salad as shown in the photo; or in a sandwich, pita or wrap; or with raw veggies, crackers, crostini, pita wedges or other dippers or spread-holders.

2 cups coarsely chopped smoked chicken
1 roasted red pepper or pimiento, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise (reduced-fat or nonfat is fine)
1/2 tsp BBQ dry rub (adjust amount to taste)

Combine all ingredients thoroughly, then cover and chill for at least an hour to allow flavors to develop.

*Note to Chileheads: If you want to make this chicken salad hot & spicy, you can add a little bit of diced jalapeno pepper, or simply use the hot & spicy version of the same dry rub you used to smoke the chicken (or a hot & spicy BBQ rub with similar ingredients).

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Looking for a recipe or instructions on how to smoke a chicken? You'll find them in my blog post about BBQ Chicken Tacos.


  1. That chicken looks absolutely gorgeous on the smoker. Thanks for the post and recipe.

  2. Glad you liked it, and thanks for reading my blog!
    Zestfully yours,