Welcome to keto food at its best! This dish is the ideal light-but-incredibly-satisfying meal, and it’s a symphony of different textures: crunchy radishes, tender avocado and meaty chicken. It’s lovely to look at, too. Summer is almost over, and the last fresh crunchy radishes of the season deserve a beautiful (and tasty!) presentation.
Tips for making the salad
This is a pretty easy salad to make. Not only because there are so few ingredients, but also because the method is so simple: you just mix the ingredients together. It’s a great way to use up your cooked leftover chicken. (Pulled chicken, for instance, is magnificent in this salad.)
Because my cooked chicken already contains salt, I didn’t need to add salt to this dish. However, if your chicken doesn’t contain enough salt, feel free to add some.
So, let’s look at how to make these sublime Stuffed Avocados with Creamy, Crunchy Chicken Salad:
First, take a small or medium bowl.
Add the cubed or shredded chicken.
Next, chop the radishes into tiny matchsticks.
Add the radishes to the chicken…
…plus the mayo. (Actually, the order in which you add the ingredients doesn’t matter, as long as you add them!)
Chop some chives…
…and add them as well. (You can also a add tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice if your mayo is neutral-tasting.)
…until well combined. Place in the fridge for an hour or two to let the flavors mingle.
Take two avocados…
…and halve them.
Remove the pits and discard them.
Stuff the avocado halves with the chicken salad.
Sprinkle some more chives (or other herb of your choice) on top for decoration.
My Stuffed Avocados with Creamy and Crunchy Chicken Salad experiments
My original idea for this salad had nothing to do with chicken or avocados. I had gotten a recipe for a Russian Salad of Radish and Cucumber with Egg from one of my readers. During the summer, I tried the salad. It contained just 5 ingredients: hard-boiled eggs, radishes, cucumber, sour cream, and salt. Nice, crunchy, and simple. However, somehow the veggies ended up swimming in a huge sea of sour cream even though I followed the recipe to a T. I think the excess fluid was due to the fact that the veggies had lost lots of their juice because of the salt and sour cream. Anyway, the salad was more liquid than solid: I’m not exaggerating when I say I could have called it a soup.
I forgot about the recipe for a month or so. Then, not long ago, I bought two big bags of radishes and made some delightful oven-roasted radishes with lots of garlic and sesame seeds. But I had still one bag of radishes left after that, and I was wondering what to do with it.
I remembered the Russian radish and cucumber salad and thought about how to improve it. But I also wanted to make it more satisfying. How about stuffing an avocado with the salad to make it a complete meal? That sounded like an excellent idea. However, I still had to solve the problem of the excess fluid.
What if I omitted the cucumber? It loses the most fluid the fastest, so that might solve the problem. The radishes should give the salad enough of a crunch, anyway.
Egg salad stuffed into avocado halves sounded good, but after I went grocery shopping and bought some chicken for dinner, I realized that chicken actually might be better than egg in this salad. Well, there was only one way to find out!
So next, I boiled eight eggs and fried the chicken I just had bought. I planned on making two salad versions: one with eggs and one with chicken. And instead of sour cream, I wanted to use a home-made olive oil-based mayonnaise. I just prefer mayonnaise with egg and chicken because it’s so delicious and flavorful (and fatty!) compared to bitter and, well, sour sour cream.
The fried chicken was still piping hot in the skillet, but the eggs had cooled down in a pot filled with cold water. I took two eggs and mashed them with one tablespoon of mayonnaise. But because one tablespoon of mayo just looked pathetic, I added another.
I didn’t have a clue about how many radishes I’d need, but I started with one, which I cut into tiny matchsticks and mixed with the eggs and mayo.
No, one radish wouldn’t be enough: I had to add at least one more. I did, but even that wasn’t enough, so I added yet another one. (At this point, I noticed that I had painted my nails exactly the same color as the radish peel. What a coincidence!
Now that I was happy with the amount of radish, I tasted the mixture to see what spices and seasonings I could add. Salt, definitely, but it needed something else as well. It was too uninteresting as it was. Even though I hate recipes with gimmicks and wanna-be-trendy flavor pairings, I do want my food to taste like something.
So I looked out the window. My backyard is full of herbs. It’s technically a garden, but the whole thing actually looks pretty wild because the herbs have spread all over the place, especially the oregano, mint, and lemon balm. The lemon balm has been there for some years and it’s taking over more and more of the backyard. I really love lemon balm, but that love has limits! Still, I don’t consider lemon balm a weed; for me, herbs are never weeds that need to be torn out.
I went out to my garden and started looking around, searching for a herb that would go well with the creamy radish and egg — or chicken — salad. I didn’t want to do the same amount of extensive research as in my previous post; I just wanted to choose a matching herb using my gut instinct.
I ended up with handfuls of oregano, thyme, mint, parsley, and chives. So I took some egg salad and tested the herbs with the salad one by one, carefully rinsing out my mouth between flavors.
I started with thyme. How delicious! Thyme really made the salad wonderfully tasty. Then I tried mint. Well, it was refreshing, but not really the best match (I do have some bad memories about mint, as you might remember from my last post!). Then it was parsley’s turn. That was way too business-as-usual. It added almost no flavor, and the taste was very dull. Absolutely nothing interesting going on.
Oregano sure was flavorful, but not my favorite with this egg salad. Chives certainly lent a nice flavor, too, but again, nothing too exciting.
So, choosing my ultimate favorite was easy. Fresh thyme had won the herby game with flying colors. And speaking of colors, the beautiful red radishes made the salad so pretty.
I was very happy with my egg salad, but I still wanted to try out the chicken version. For that, I took 1 cup (240 ml) cooked chicken that I had chopped into tiny cubes. I added two tablespoons of mayo to the chicken, but it wasn’t enough to bind the mixture, so I added two more.
Then, again, I added three radishes that I had chopped into tiny matchsticks. I mixed the radishes with the chicken and mayo. Once more, I tested which herbs I preferred with the salad. This time I started with parsley, because I knew it was the most mild-tasting and very likely would be too bland. I was right, although the parsley tasted slightly better with the chicken salad than it did with the egg.
Next, I took mint, because I didn’t expect it to be my favorite, either. Right again – although the mint flavor was actually quite pleasant with chicken. So, if you’re a big fan of mint, you might want to add mint to your chicken salad.
Then I took a bite of chives and a spoonful of chicken salad. Nice – and, in fact, very tasty. Oregano was my next test-herb; it enhanced the meaty flavor of the chicken but it didn’t beat the chives. At this point, I had lost my thyme somewhere, so I had to run out and fetch more from my garden.
To my disappointment, I wasn’t happy with thyme and chicken salad combination. It was a much better choice with the egg salad; with the chicken salad it just tasted boring. So, chives were the winner!
But now I had a problem: should I post a stuffed avocado recipe with either egg salad or chicken salad? Both were really delicious.
Well, I hadn’t tried the salads with avocados: maybe one of them would be a better, more obvious match for avocado’s taste and texture.
Yup, the chicken salad was a real winner with the avocado. The flavors and textures complemented each other while the egg salad just tasted watery and felt too ‘thin’ when paired with avocado. Problem solved: I wanted to stuff my avocados with chicken salad, there was no doubt about it. Maybe I would still add a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice because the mayo was so mild. (However, if your mayo contains lots of vinegar, you don’t necessarily need more acid to round out the flavors and cut through the greasiness of the avocado.)
|Nutrition information:||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||43.5 g||110.6 g||3.6 g||1212 kcal|
|Per serving if 4 servings in total:||10.9 g||27.6 g||0.9 g||303 kcal|
Tips for variation
This creamy, crunchy chicken salad isn’t just perfect for stuffing avocados; it’s also an ideal filling for your low-carb sandwiches. And even though the egg salad version isn’t the best match for avocado, it does make a fantastic filling for low-carb sandwiches. Here iis a perfect bread recipe for a low-carb bread that slices nicely (image below; a sandwich filled with this chicken salad), and this is another marvelous keto bread recipe.
You can also serve the chicken salad on lettuce leaves and turn it into a salad, or you can fill lettuce wraps with it. Or you can create a deconstructed version by arranging the salad ingredients beautifully on a serving plate and drizzling over the mayo and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Naturally, you can also add more spices and seasonings to your Creamy, Crunchy Chicken Salad. My personal favorite is crushed red pepper, but a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper is enough to give a subtle kick.