This chicken salad is a) one of my favorite summer meals and b) basically awesome. It doesn't hurt that it is required by law to be served on flaky, buttery croissants, the best bread known to chicken salad-dom. And since croissants come in all sizes, these sandwiches are great for any occasion. Pile up mini croissants for a fancy shower or tea. Pack a basket of standard-size sandwiches for a picnic lunch. Stuff one of those giant croissants to split with your sweetie--or to devour yourself. (I may have just done exactly that, which is what happens when I'm left to forage for dinner by myself.)
The star of these sandwiches (besides the croissant, of course) is the dried cranberry. These little guys burst with flavor and color and almost make you think that you're eating health food. This time I found my dried cranberries at Aldi in a 6 oz. bag for $1.39. I was so excited about the great deal that I didn't read the package very closely. It wasn't until I was two bites into my sandwich that I realized my cranberries were cherry flavored. Um, no. Aldi does carry regular dried cranberries; you just have to hunt around for them. I also think most grocery stores carry a generic version of Craisins; either way, you don't have to shell out half your paycheck to make these mouth-watering sandwiches.
Cranberry Chicken Salad (based on this recipe)
Time: 15-20 minutes
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup dried cranberries (preferably unsweetened)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise (start with the smaller amount and add more if necessary; I use olive oil or low-fat mayo)
2 T. chopped red onion (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
4 croissants, split
4 lettuce leaves (optional)
In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients. Add chicken. Spoon onto croissants; add lettuce, if desired.