Lemon Chive Chicken Salad

A favorite way to make chicken salad, especially for spring and summer. It starts with gently poaching chicken breasts in lemon water, leaving them moist and flavorful.

Lemon Chive Chicken Salad @ KitchenParade.com ~ chicken breasts gently poached in lemon water then mixed with delicious low-cal mayo-yogurt sauce ~ low carb, gluten-free, for Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3

Every few weeks, a new kitchen tool catches my attention. Rarely however, does attention budge from just looking to buy now.

I’ve learned the hard way, you see, to be cautious with both dollars and space, for over-hyped kitchen tools deliver as much utility as cure-all cough remedies.

I once fell so hard for a middle-of-the-night infomercial that I bought two juicers, one for my parents who had planted citrus trees at their place in Florida. Both were soon relegated to the dust bin.

But the Microplane grating products that appeared awhile back do deliver on their promise. In just seconds, a Microplane creates piles of weightless lemon zest and grated Parmesan. Others rave about grating nutmeg, coconut, onion, ginger and chocolate. (See? No promises of world peace, just good grating!)

Microplanes are quite inexpensive, about $12, so make good gifts for foodie-type family and friends.

ALANNA's TIPS The more flavorful and often less-expensive chicken thighs work too, just remove the skins and poach, flesh-down first. Delicious! The lemon juice is what makes this chicken salad stand out so don’t skip it. To extract the most juice from lemons, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds, then roll on the counter before cutting, pressing hard with your palm to break down the interior structure. The difference in yield is amazing! Ensure the chicken is fully cooked after poaching by slicing into the thickest part of one breast. If the juice runs clear, it is cooked. In a hurry? Use the meat from a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket! White onions have much a stronger 'onion' flavor and odor, so if using a white onion, I'd recommend using about 1/4 an onion.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes (15 to start, 10 to finish)
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 4 cups
  • Water to just cover chicken, about 3 cups
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • Zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) from a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chive
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

POACH THE CHICKEN In a large skillet with cover, bring water, lemon juice and salt to a boil over medium high. Add chicken and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and poach at bare simmer about 5 minutes. Turn breasts and poach another 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and cool in poaching liquid, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Dice the chicken finely.

OPTIONAL FOOD PROCESSOR For sandwiches, I like chicken salad with a finer texture for easier spreading. So I cut the chicken in chunks and then process in the food processor, just a few pulses, you don't want to turn the chicken to mush. I'll do the celery and onion in the food processor too, but separate from the chicken so not to over-process.

SAUCE While chicken cooks, stir together remaining ingredients and chill until chicken is cooled. Stir in cooked, cooled chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per half cup: 148 Cal; 6g Tot Fat; 3g Carb; 0g Fiber; 70mg Sodium; 50mg Cholesterol; 20g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS: WW Old Points 3 & WW PointsPlus 3 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving, 6 tablespoons; 50-calorie serving, 3 tablespoons. This recipe is "Alanna-sized" with reductions in fat and portion size and increases in no- and low-calorie flavorings and vegetables.

Do You Love Your Microplane? I Do!


There are Microplanes for every grating job and task. I have two, a Fine Grater for lemon and lime zest and a much-appreciated Medium Ribbon Grater for thicker strips of Parmesan, chocolate shavings and the like. Little known fact: original versions of the Microplane were used for woodworking!

More Chicken Salad Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.