Alton Brown's Tangy Ingredients For Amping Up Chicken Salad

If there is one thing that chef Alton Brown doesn't do, it's boring food. He's known for his use of food science in his cooking, as well as elevating everyday dishes to a higher, more flavorful level. Brown has an interesting take on the classic picnic dish, a chicken salad that replaces the typical mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. Brown uses Greek-inspired ingredients for a tangier and lightened-up version of chicken salad.

In Brown's chicken salad recipe, he adds Kalamata olives, red onion, feta cheese, parsley, cucumber, tomato, and lemon juice to his chicken thighs. Greek yogurt is used not just for creaminess, but acts as the base for the lemon yogurt sauce. It may seem unnatural to combine tart lemon with tart Greek yogurt, but the lemon adds a touch of acidity and flavor, while the juice helps to thin out the thick yogurt. Brown also adds chopped parsley to his sauce for some freshness. Since Greek yogurt replaces mayonnaise, this version of chicken salad is naturally lighter with higher amounts of protein and fewer calories.

Alton Brown's recipe is all about versatility

Brown mentions in his recipe that while this is a great way to use up leftover chicken, store-bought rotisserie chicken or even leftover turkey will work just as well. The cooked chicken is chopped up and combined with the red onion slices, cucumber, feta, and olives. Brown recommends letting the chicken and veggies marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld together. If the entire dish isn't eaten in one sitting, it'll stay good for up to three days in the fridge.

Like with most recipes, there's some flexibility when it comes to ingredients. After one person commented on Brown's recipe to ask if they could substitute Kalamata olives for canned black ones, he replied, "Absolutely." Several other people shared how delicious the chicken salad tasted. If you're not a fan of feta cheese, another could be substituted, though it would make the chicken salad a little less Greek. Though it's not listed in the recipe, the chicken salad could be served with or inside pita bread, which is a traditional bread in Greek cuisine.