I’m always looking for new meals to make and experiment with and this Tex-Mex Chicken Salad is one of my new favorites. One of my co-workers made chicken salad for lunch a few weeks back but it wasn’t the traditional chicken salad, it was this great Tex-Mex version and I knew I had to try and re-create it.
Now, I didn’t have an exact recipe to go by, just a general knowledge of how to make it, so I went home and did a little brainstorming and came up with this recipe. It doesn’t taste exactly the way she made it, but it’s so delicious and a great update on a classic chicken salad.
Start by poaching the chicken. To poach chicken you have to cook it in water over a soft boil for a short amount of time. Lay the chicken breasts in a pan and season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic. Then add in one whole quartered onion, and one or two whole jalapenos, with the seeds. I only added one jalapeno because I didn’t know how strong it would be, but next time I’d probably use two.
Pour in enough water to just barely cover the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, once it’s boiling, lower the heat and cover with a lid and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes. It really doesn’t take all that long to poach chicken and it will be super moist and flavorful. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside.
*Don’t throw out the broth from the pan, you can use a little of it later in this recipe or you can save the broth and use it in soup or in making Mexican rice.
Once the chicken is cooled, take two forks and shred it all. Some of the shredded chicken was still long so I took a knife and chopped it all up a little bit. Put all the chicken in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Take out the jalapenos and onion from the poaching liquid and chop them up. I decided to use these in the chicken salad because they won’t be as potent since they’ve been boiled, plus then I don’t feel like I’m wasting them! Add them into the bowl with the chicken.
Grab a fresh jalapeno, remove the stem and then chop it up very finely, be sure and remove the seeds and membranes. Add this in with the chicken. If you don’t like spicy foods then you can add a half or even only a quarter of the jalapeno, or if you like it really spicy you can add more. Just remember it’s easier to add more spice than to take it away.
Open a can of corn, drain all the liquid and then add it right in with the chicken, no heating required. If you are using frozen corn, cook the corn according to the directions and then let it cool all the way before adding it in to the mix. Or you can use fresh corn off of the cob once it’s been cooked. Canned corn is just simpler and is a staple I keep around.
Grab a bunch of cilantro and mince it then add it in with the chicken.
Now all that’s left is adding in a little mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin.
After everything is mixed in, if the mix is still a little dry, instead of adding more mayo I added in just a little of the chicken broth from poaching the chicken. The broth is super flavorful and helps to moisten the chicken salad mix without having to use too much mayo or mustard. Only a little broth is needed otherwise the salad will become runny.
Mix everything together and then eat with tostadas! I don’t know if I ever would’ve thought to eat it with toastadas but it’s delicious!
I love this version of chicken salad because it’s super flavorful and it’s a fun twist on the classic chicken salad. This Tex-Mex chicken salad is also a great meal to throw together on a Sunday evening for lunches throughout the week.
- 3 Chicken Breast
- 2-3 Jalapenos, divided
- 1 onion, cut into large chunks
- 2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 2 teaspoons cumin, divided
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes, optional
- 6 cups water, or enough to cover chicken in pan
- 1/2 can of corn, drained
- 1-2 T mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard
- 1/4 cup Cilantro, minced
- 1-2 T broth from poaching chicken, optional
- Start by poaching the chicken: lay the chicken in a large pot with 1-2 of the jalapenos cut into quarters and the onion. Sprinkle on 1 teasp. of salt, 1/2 teasp. black pepper, 1 teasp. cumin, garlic and 1-2 chicken bouillon cubs for added flavor. Add in enough water to just cover the chicken. Turn heat on medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover with a lid for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
- Remove chicken, onions and jalapenos from liquid and set aside to cool down. Shred chicken with two forks and then chop up if necessary. Put the shredded chicken into a large mixing bowl.
- Finely dice the jalapenos and onion - add in with the chicken.
- Grab another fresh jalepeno, remove the stem and seeds and finely dice, add this in with the chicken.
- Open a can of corn, drain the liquid, and add half a can to the chicken mix.
- Finally, add in the mayo, mustard, cilantro and broth if necessary. Add in the remaining salt, pepper and cumin.
- Toss to mix and taste, adjust accordingly.
- Eat with tostadas.