Cooked chicken, mayonnaise, salt and pepper are the base ingredients for chicken salad. Some cooks also use herbs, relishes, celery and seasoning blends to alter the flavor and texture of the dish.
For basic chicken salad with a zing, cook and dice 2 1/2 to 3 cups of cooked chicken. Combine the chicken with 1/2 cup diced celery, 1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped purple onion, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 to 3 teaspoons sweet pepper relish. Add a dash of pepper, a dash of Cajun seasoning blend and salt to taste. Serve the salad on sliced rolls or a bed of lettuce.
Martha Stewart's version of chicken salad contains hot sauce for an extra kick. Start by cooking and dicing 1 cup of chicken. In a large bowl, combine the chicken with 1 heaping tablespoon minced celery, 1 heaping tablespoon minced red onion, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Add 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons mayonnaise, a dash of hot sauce, and coarse sea salt and pepper to taste. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly. Use the chicken salad to make a sandwich, or serve it on a bed of arugula, baby spinach and other greens.