Castles in the Sand-
Every summer, I always look forward to picnics. Our summer has had some occasional rain this year, which means I have to look at the forecast a little more closely so I don’t rain on my own parade. We have an overabundance of picnic spots nearby, so I am in a constant dilemma about where to go and what food to bring with us. This Chicken Salad with Bacon and Caramelized Onions is perfect to pack for a sandwich, or a big dollop placed on a pile of fresh greens.
Take it Outside
I love to eat outdoors any chance I can get (who am I kidding, I love to be outdoors for any reason any chance I can get) but one thing I don’t like to do is use the grills at the beach or the park, as much as I love grilling. I like to come up with great food to take along that we can enjoy. While the littlest works on his sand castles, I can build sandwiches. Its a win-win. This chicken salad is a departure from the usual salt, pepper, and celery combo, and I love it. Smoky bacon, sweet caramelized onions, and fresh thyme are a great combination of flavors here.
For this recipe, I simply boil the chicken breasts, but you can certainly use a store bought rotisserie chicken if you don’t want to do any cooking at all other than caramelizing the onions. I like doing both at once, that way I get it all done at the same time. This Chicken Salad with Bacon and Caramelized Onions is great to take to the beach, or make for meal prep for weekly on the go lunches.
I prefer cayenne pepper in this salad over the usual ground black pepper, and its not overpowering at all. If you’re really wanting to go all out, you can even make your own mayonnaise. I love this on a big hoagie roll with spring mix and fresh tomatoes. Packing some Potato Salad with Leek Scapes and Herbs to go with it is the perfect picnic!
Summer is a great time to get outside, and make memories with family and friends, or even just flying solo. Even if you don’t live near a beach, find somewhere you can go enjoy an afternoon in the fresh air. We all need it every now and then. So make yourself some of this chicken salad and pack a picnic, and go enjoy your weekend!
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- Dice the onions, and place in a skillet with the oil over medium high heat to caramelize, about 30 minutes. Stir onions occasionally while the chicken and bacon are cooking.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the chicken breasts and lower heat to medium high and cook for about 20 minutes. While they are cooking, you can cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp, or bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until done, then chop.
- While the chicken and bacon are cooking, remove the thyme leaves from their stems. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cayenne, salt, and fresh thyme.
- After chicken, bacon, and onions are done cooking, shred the chicken with two forks, and add the chicken, onions, and bacon to the mayonnaise mixture and stir well to combine. Serve in a sandwich or on top of greens.