Jam-Packed Chicken Salad or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Depends on size of sandwiches
 
If you want to take chicken or tuna salad to a realm above and beyond the norm, a realm that elicits “OMG” with eat bite, this is the way to do it. Makes a good amount of sandwiches, depending on how much salad you use per sandwich.
ingredients:
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded or chopped chicken (I use a whole roast chicken; a mix of white and dark meat) or 4 cans of white albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 green onions, both the light and lower dark green parts, sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small carrot peeled and grated or shredded (sometimes I steam the carrot shreds, about 1 to 2 minutes, for more flavor)
  • 1 or 2 stalks of celery, peeled (this is the best way to add it to salads; no strings), thick white end cut off, split vertically three or four times, finely diced, LIKE THIS
  • 1 very small red onion or one-quarter of a large red onion, diced LIKE THIS (or 1 large shallot, diced)
  • 1 to 3 avocados, depending on how many sandwiches, each half slightly mashed, seasoned with a little salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch Mayo (recipe follows). the amount depending on how 'wet' you like your chicken salad
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, if needed.
Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo" *
  • ⅔ cup Greek Yogurt (Use all mayonnaise instead of yogurt, if desired)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (if using all mayonnaise, just 2)
  • ¼ cup chopped. fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh dill weed
  • 1 garlic clove chopped and smashed into a paste with a pinch of kosher salt, LIKE THIS
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (more or less, taste as you drizzle it in and stir, or 2 teaspoons buttermilk powder **) You can omit all the buttermilk, if you like. It's still great without it since yogurt is already tangy. If using all mayo, you need to use it.
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions:
For the Salad
  1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in as much of the Greek Yogurt ranch mayo as you desire.
  2. The Secret - Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I refrigerate it overnight) before serving to allow the flavors of the chicken salad and yogurt ranch to really blend or shall I say 'sing'? Because it really does sing! You'd be amazed at the difference it makes, not unlike beef stew eaten the day after it's cooked. Season it with extra salt and pepper after letting it chill, if need be.
  3. Serve as sandwiches, slightly mashing an avocado on top or spreading the avocado on one or both slices of bread (which I should have done for photos - neater) then layering boston or butter lettuce and tomato, if desired, or roll into whole wheat flour tortilla wraps or flatbread. Keep it low-carb and gluten-free by serving as is on a salad plate or spooned into a ripe avocado half.
For The Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch
  1. Place Greek yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a paper towel) over a bowl. Cover the strainer and allow excess liquid to drain for about 1 to 2 hours. You'll be replacing the liquid with buttermilk to make it 'ranch'. (While it's draining, start roasting the peppers and prepping the rest of the vegetables for the salad).
  2. If you're using all mayonnaise, obviously you can skip the above step.Also, to make it even easier, but just as delicious, I've made this without straining the yogurt, just mixing in all the ingredients but the buttermilk into plain Greek yogurt and/or mayo, with great results..so that gives you three dressing choices!
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together strained Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, dill, garlic paste,, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in buttermilk. Add more or less buttermilk for desired taste and consistency. I like it thick, like, well..mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap and refrigerate for several hours before adding it to salad, if you have the time. Even more flavor!
notes:
*Double or add add another half of the Garlic Ranch recipe for more 'mayo'
** You can usually find buttermilk powder in the baking or dried milk aisle in supermarkets. If not, you can order it online.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2014/04/08/loaded-chicken-or-tuna-salad-with-garlic-greek-yogurt-ranch-mayo-and-the-end/