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Recipe: Orange and Cranberry Chicken Salad

May Be Prepared With or Without Cranberries

Orange chicken version on left. Orange cranberry chicken version on right.
Orange chicken version on left. Orange cranberry chicken version on right. | Source

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5 stars from 1 rating of Orange Cranberry Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad with a Different Twist

This recipe is much tastier and richer-than-regular versions of this type of salad. The difference comes with the addition of cream cheese. Also, the use of small pieces of mandarin oranges and whole-berry cranberry sauce makes a delightful taste combination.

Served on bread, such as croissants, or eaten without the bread with a few crackers on the side, this salad is an excellent choice for a luncheon or a simple lunchbox meal at work.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 12.5 oz. cans chicken breast in water
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
  • 1 15 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can mandarin oranges

Ingredients Used to Prepare this Recipe

Ingredients needed to prepare this chicken salad recipe.
Ingredients needed to prepare this chicken salad recipe. | Source

Instructions

  1. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Make certain that the cream cheese is softened so it will mix well with the mayonnaise.
  2. Add the Mrs. Dash seasoning to the mayonnaise/cream cheese mixture. The amount of seasoning can be adjusted to your personal taste.
  3. Drain all of the water from the chicken. Using a fork or your hands break up the chicken breast chunks into small pieces. Add the chicken to the mayonnaise/cream cheese and mix all together well.
  4. At this point, decide if you are making the chicken salad with or without the cranberries. If not using the berries, proceed by draining the orange segments and cutting them into small pieces as pictured. Add to the other ingredients and stir in very gently. Be careful not to smash the orange segments as your chicken salad will be too watery.
  5. If you are preparing the salad using both the oranges and cranberries, add the cranberry sauce first before adding the oranges as noted above. Put the cranberry sauce in a small bowl and break it up with a fork. Then mix into the chicken mixture followed by gently adding the oranges as explained in step 4.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. This gives the seasoning and flavors time to blend.
  7. Serve as a sandwich on bread or as a salad with an assortment of crackers.

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Preparation Tips

  • A very easy method for cutting the orange segments is to use kitchen shears as shown in the pictures.
  • If the cream cheese is not softened, it is very hard to mix into the other ingredients. You can take it out of the refrigerator for a couple of hours before you prepare to allow it to soften. Or, if you forget to do that, you can put it in a microwavable bowl and microwave for approximately 1 minute or until you can easily stir it with a spoon.
  • Using canned chicken breast makes this a very quick and easy recipe. However, if you prefer, use some leftover chicken that you may have in the refrigerator.
  • I like the taste of the Mrs. Dash seasoning but you can certainly use any seasonings that your family enjoys. Be creative!

Nuts are a Tasty Addition to this Recipe

Chopped walnuts or pecans may be added for additional flavor and crunch. However, many people are allergic to nuts. Take that into consideration when preparing this dish.

© 2016 Thelma Raker Coffone

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Please Share Your Comments on this Recipe 1 comment

Sandy Hale 5 weeks ago

Looks delicious. I plan to try it with both oranges and cranberries. I like the idea of using the whole cranberry sauce instead of just the berries.

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    Country Homemaker profile image

    Thelma Raker Coffone (Country Homemaker)22 Followers
    14 Articles

    Thelma is a former field editor for Taste of Home magazine and currently owns a marketing company for the promotion of community cookbooks.



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