France | French Food + Wine

French Chicken Salad

When Mr. Misadventures and I lived in France every Sunday we did 2 things. We crossed the street to our award-winning boulangerie and got croissants, pain aux escargots (raisins), and the newspaper. We would sit and enjoy the morning with several cups of coffee.

Just before lunchtime, we would head to the farmer’s market in the next village over and grab seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and other specialty items for the week ahead. Right before we headed home, we would stop by the rotisserie and pick up a whole roasted chicken and golden potatoes that had been cooking in the chicken juices.

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Rotisserie chicken from Rue Poncelet Market in Paris

As we were only 2, that usually meant leftover chicken, and one of our favorite ways to use it was to make a traditional chicken salad that we would eat in a crunchy baguette with a glass of wine (like a Beaujolais) for dinner. I have teamed up with Heather Englund of Fit Mama Real Food to recreate this classic chicken salad recipe.

We will be bringing you a new French recipe every month!

French Chicken Salad on a Baguette

Jump directly to the recipe!

A Chicken in Every Pot

A symbol of wealth and prosperity, during Herbert Hoover’s presidential campaign in 1928, he promised voters a chicken in every pot and 2 cars in every garage. But Mr. Hoover swiped the statement from King Henry IV of France who said, “I want there to be no peasant in my realm so poor that he will not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” in 1598!

Sundays are very leisurely in France, spent with families or lounging around and chicken remains a classic French Sunday meal. Roasted (rotisserie) chicken with potatoes is the traditional Sunday lunch in France, whether you buy it already roasted at the local farmers market or you make it at home.

Rotisserie chicken from Rue Poncelet Market in ParisRotisserie chicken from Rue Poncelet Market in Paris
Rotisserie chicken from Rue Poncelet Market in Paris.

If you are visiting Paris or anywhere really in France, be sure to get to the marché in your arrondissement or village or the local butcher or traiteur for a delicious meal à la française.

French Chicken Salad on a Baguette

To make the french chicken salad, begin by removing the skin from the rotisserie chicken and then removing the meat from the roast. Shred the chicken using your hands, or dice the chicken meat with a knife.

Add to a large bowl.

Shredded Chicken for French Chicken Salad 2

Into the bowl with the shredded chicken, add the celery, green onion, almonds, rosemary, mayonnaise, dijon, sea salt, pepper, and orange juice.

French Chicken Salad Ingredients in a Bowl

Mix to fully combine. Taste and add more sea salt, or orange juice, depending on your preference.

Mixed French Chicken Salad in a Bowl

Serve the french chicken salad in a fresh baguette!

French Chicken Salad on a Baguette 2

Or if you are following a low-carb diet, in lettuce cups.

French Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups 5
  • You can change out the fresh herbs as you please. Another herb often used in French chicken salad is tarragon. But you can try dill too!
  • I often add turmeric and chia seeds. Turmeric has fantastic health benefits like fighting inflammation and keeping blood sugar levels steady. Chia seeds are high in fiber and a great antioxidant.
  • I have played around with adding curry powder as well.
  • If you are following a low-carb lifestyle then skip the baguette for lettuce wraps.
  • If you aren’t worried about carbs, for a bit of sweetness you can add dried cranberries, red grapes, or tart apples.

French Chicken Salad: It’s affordable and you don’t have to cook!

I am sure it hasn’t escaped anyone that inflation is on the rise and pocketbooks are shrinking. Cooking a whole chicken or buying a whole rotisserie chicken and using it over several meals is an affordable way to extend your food budget. Mr. Misadventures and I also use the carcass to make broth or soup too.

And I don’t know about you all, but summer in North Carolina is hot, hot, hot! Nobody wants to turn on that oven. Instead, we barbeque in the morning and we barbeque a big batch! That way over the next few days we don’t have to cook.

Chicken Salad is great for picnics and camping too!

We also cook chicken and prepare this ahead of a camping trip because chicken salad is a great no-cook meal that cuts down on food prep and gives us time to enjoy the outdoors more.

It is an easy picnic meal as well. If you are visiting Paris and get a rotisserie chicken at the market, make this dish, grab a tote bag and check out one of these great picnic spots!

Bon appétit !

How about you? Do you make chicken salad? How do you like to do it? Do tell!

Photography and recipe development by Heather Englund of Fit Mama Real Food

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French Chicken Salad in a lettuce wrapFrench Chicken Salad on a baguetteFrench Chicken Salad in a lettuce wrap
French Chicken Salad on a Baguette

French Chicken Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Oh la la! C'est une classique! An easy and inexpensive way to use leftover chicken,

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 2 celery stalks, diced small
  • 2 green onions (only the green parts), minced
  • ¼ cup dry roasted almonds, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tbsp orange juice
  • For serving: Butter lettuce or fresh baguette

Instructions

    1. To make the french chicken salad, begin by removing the skin from the rotisserie chicken and then removing the meat from the roast.
    2. Shred the chicken using your hands, or dice the chicken meat with a knife. Add to a large bowl.
    3. Into the bowl with the shredded chicken, add the celery, green onion, almonds, rosemary, mayonnaise, dijon, sea salt, pepper, and orange juice.
    4. Mix to fully combine.
    5. Taste and add more sea salt, or orange juice, depending on your preference.
    6. Serve the french chicken salad in lettuce cups, or with a fresh baguette!

Notes

  • You can change out the fresh herbs as you please. Another herb often used in French chicken salad is tarragon. But you can try dill too!
  • I often add turmeric and chia seeds. Turmeric has fantastic health benefits like fighting inflammation and keeping blood sugar levels steady. Chia seeds are high in fiber and a great antioxidant.
  • I have played around with adding curry powder as well.
  • If you are following a low-carb lifestyle then skip the baguette for lettuce wraps.
  • If you aren't worried about carbs, for a bit of sweetness you can add dried cranberries, red grapes, or tart apples.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 1140mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. Also, if you do lettuce cups instead of the baguette, the carbs are significantly lower!

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15 Comments

  1. I love chicken salad sandwiches. I’ve ordered some with cranberries and some with celery. You can add in just about any ingredient!

  2. Wow! This chicken salad looks absolutely delicious and the texture plus the presentation makes it enticing and very tempting!

  3. We don’t make chicken salad often, but I think that is about to change. Your chicken salad looks delicious!

  4. This looks and sound amazing! I love a good chicken salad and I have pinned this one to make for my mom and dad that are coming to visit. They will love it!

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