From My Recipe Vault: DiPalma’s Chicken Salad
So many of the recipes I’ve collected over the years have such great stories attached to them, and this version of DiPalma’s Chicken Salad is no different.
Back in the day, while living in Dallas, Texas, there was a wonderful Italian restaurant called DiPalma located on Lower Greenville Avenue. It was a small restaurant that served delicious Italian food and sold imported Italian foods along with what was probably an amazing wine collection. I was too young to appreciate fine wine, but I loved the display and the ambiance of the entire place, tables scattered about the store among the wine and packaged specialty foods.
Every dish was special at DiPalma’s. My favorite evening meal was the Chicken Lasagna by far. It was a baked lasagna prepared with chicken and a creamy cheese sauce that was to die for. (No one seemed too worried out calories or fat grams back then.) And my favorite lunch item was their Chicken Salad.
From My Recipe Vault
I have been in possession of a copy-cat version of the DiPalma’s Chicken Salad in a well-used cookbook on my shelf Leaving Home. I have been preparing some version of the salad for years.
The key to much of its specialness is in the size of the chicken cubes. The chicken is cut into larger cubes than most chicken salads I’ve had, and I really think its the texture that takes this salad to the next level. Also, using any cooked chicken will work with recipe, including store-bought rotisserie chicken. Easy peasy.
I also love the addition of both the sweet grapes and the tangy crispness of the Granny Smiths. Mixing plain yogurt with the mayo adds to the creaminess and just a little more tanginess. And that touch of curry spice…I don’t know what to say other than it just all works for me.
As for DiPalma, the restaurant closed years ago, but I continue to hang on to all those wonderful memories of sharing so many delicious dinners and lunches with friends. Thank you DiPalma for all of that great food and all of those great times. What a treat it was!
I’m still on the hunt for the recipe for DiPalma’s Chicken Lasagna. Every once in a while I do a little Google search for it, hoping someone somewhere will share it from their recipe vault. In the meantime, I’ll just continue to enjoy my DiPalma’s Chicken Salad and my memories.
Crunchy Chicken Salad
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, (about 2 ½ cups) cooked and diced (rotisserie chicken works)
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 4 green onions chopped
- 3/4 cup about 1 apple unpeeled small apple, cored and diced (I use Granny Smith or Honey Crisp)
- 1/4 cup craisins optional
- 1/2 cup seedless red or green grapes halved
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped candied or toasted pecans raw pecans will also work or sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- teaspoon dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or seasoning salt to taste
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
In a large bowl, COMBINE the chicken, celery, onion, apple, craisins, grapes, pecans, curry powder, dill, salt, mayo and yogurt.
MIX together until well combined. SERVE on croissant or lettuce.
Tastes best if prepared the day before serving to allow flavors to come together while in the fridge.
You may need to add a teaspoon or so of extra mayo just before serving to add a little extra moisture.
SERVE on a lettuce leaf or a croissant.