Spicy Chicken Salad with Southfacin’ Cook, Patsy Brumfield

I love chicken salad, especially with sliced grapes and fresh dill. But here’s something different with a little “kick” to it.

This version will be great, just like you use its more traditional cousin. Adding avocado slices as garnish just makes this one even more interesting.

Your summertime guests will love this. Enjoy!



EQUIPMENT – Large baking sheet, parchment paper or foil, medium bowl, large bowl, chopping board, chef’s knife, mixing spoon, rubber spatula, juicer, microplane, colander, measuring equipment.


4 large chicken breasts

6-8 large stalks celery, medium diced

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 bunches green onions, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed

2 diced tomatoes

1/3 cup mayonnaise (Helmann’s)

2/3 cup sour cream (with chives, if you can find it)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (more to sprinkle on chicken breasts)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 limes, zest of one and juice both or ¼ cup bottled juice

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

ripe avocado for garnish (sliced or diced) lime or lemon juice to keep fresh

Black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Salt and pepper liberally. When oven reaches 400, bake breasts about 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165. (A done breast will feel firm and spring back from your touch.) Remove baking sheet and allow chicken to cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash celery, green onions, and tomatoes. Dice. Hold in a medium mixing bowl. Wash cilantro, shake, allow to dry slightly and rough chop. Wash limes, zest one of them and squeeze the juice from both. Or use bottled juice.

In larger mixing bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, salt, cumin, chili powder, pepper flakes, lime zest/juice, and red-wine vinegar. Pour can of black beans into a colander and rinse. Shake well to remove water, then add beans and cilantro to the mayo-sour cream mixture.

When chicken cools enough to handle (but still warm), slice each breast into ½- inch slices. Watch closely for a piece of tough cartilage that runs down the side and cut it away. Dice chicken slices into ½-inch cubes. Fold cubes into mayo-cream mixture, then add veggie mixture.

Cover with foil and let ingredients meld in the refrigerator at least an hour.

When it’s ready, taste to see if you’d like more salt.

Serve on a crisp lettuce leaf, a pile of fresh spinach leaves or in a warmed pita with shredded lettuce. Add avocado slices for garnish.

Serves at least 6.