Famous Chicken Salad3 min read

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When we opened our restaurant, Bliss, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to serve Chicken Salad on croissant. Who knew it would become our famous chicken salad?!

I had always dreamed of having a tearoom (though we technically didn’t open a tearoom) and there are two things that tearooms are judged on: Scones and Chicken Salad. I had already perfected my scones, so I turned my attention to chicken.

The Nuts and Grapes of our Famous Chicken Salad

homemade chicken salad

Onions. So many people would ask if the chicken salad had onions. Why, yes, it does. Raw onions scare people. Heck, they scare ME! Mostly because they’re generally cut into big chunks. I made sure that the onions were cut finely, so they give a good flavor but no hot bursts all at once.

Celery. I feel the same about celery that I do about onions. Finely chopped so they add to the flavor, but never so you get a big stringy crunch of celery.

Grapes. I do love grapes in chicken salad. They should be identifiable, though. We halved them which worked perfectly.

Nuts. I chose pecans for their buttery but not overwhelming flavor. We zipped them through the food processor so they would be small pieces that would distribute all the way through the salad. Nuts are expensive, so this trick works to get more bang for your buck.

The Secret Ingredient

Person after person would ask what the distinct taste was in the Bliss Chicken Salad. A few actually guessed it. Cinnamon. Honestly, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I added it, but there it is. The one component that seemed to keep them coming back for more. Cinnamon. Not too much. Just enough to add a zip to it.


  • Don’t shred the chicken. Instead, chop across the grain in 1 inch chunks.
  • If you don’t intend to right away, you’ll probably need to add a bit of mayo to it before serving. It tends to absorb the mayo when stored.
  • Be careful with salt! And sugar! Let it sit a few minutes so the salt or sugar dissolve, then taste and adjust.
  • Don’t over mix! You don’t want pasty chicken salad.
  • Serve with crackers, croissant, “in the garden” (on a salad or bed of greens)
  • Remember to taste the chicken salad as you’re making it. Don’t rely solely on the recipe!!
homemade chicken salad


  • 1 1/2 pounds boiled or roasted chicken (about a whole 5 lb chicken)
  • 1-2 cups mayonnaise
  • ¾-1 cup finely minced celery
  • ¼-½ cup finely minced red onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2-2/3 pound grapes, halved
  • 1/2-1 tsp celery seed powder
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 2-3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)


  • Do not shred chicken. Chop across the grain into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl. If you are using a different-sized chicken, adjust ingredients accordingly.
  • Add all other ingredients, and mix with hands, yep, use your hands. (My son Trae recommends mixing all ingredients except mayo so the spices are distributed. Try it both ways if you like!)
  • See tips and hints above in the blog post.

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