Made This Recipe? Add Your Photo
Prep 4 hrs
Cook 1 hr
Not your grandma’s chicken salad! A combination of smoked light and dark meat and southwestern-inspired ingredients give this salad depth of flavor. Serve as-is on a bed of shredded lettuce, wrap in a flour tortilla, or mound in pita bread. If you’re short on time, skip the brining step and add salt to taste to the dressing.
- 1 quart cold water
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 4 large bone-in chicken breasts
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1⁄2 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 1 -2 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeno pepper
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
- paprika, for serving
- Brine the chicken: In a large saucepan or mixing bowl, combine the water and salt and stir until the salt crystals dissolve. Add the chicken breasts and thighs. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Drain, but do not dry the chicken: Smoke clings better to wet surfaces.
- When ready to cook, prepare your smoker for 325 degrees. Arrange the chicken on the grill grate and smoke the chicken until the juices run clear and the internal temperature when read on an instant-read meat thermometer is 165 degrees F, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.
- Dice the chicken, discarding any skin, bones, or gobbets of fat. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the red and green bell peppers, the scallions, and pickled jalapenos. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients.
- Make the dressing: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, black pepper, and garlic salt. Stir in the cilantro. Add the dressing to the chicken mixture and stir gently until well-combined. Transfer to a serving bowl. Dust with paprika. Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 3 days.