Southwest Chicken Salad

     Something about canned chicken breast just never really seemed appetizing.  I conquered it in my Chicken and Broccoli Fritters, but not much else.  As much as I love canned tuna, I don't care for a tuna-like taste to my chicken.  It's just not appealing and kind of weirds me out.  Try as I might to always have something on hand for a quick meal, stuff happens, life gets in the way and things find themselves staying in the freezer. 

     To combat my constant can of chicken lingering in the closet getting shifted around and never used, I picked up a few more cans and made a resolve to make a decent chicken salad.  Why push it?  Well, why not?  Everyone seems to love chicken salad but me, and it sure would be nice to have something different, right?  So, there ya go. 

    My biggest issue with canned chicken is usually in its texture and odd aroma.  Butter fixes everything, so surely it can fix canned chicken.  Gosh I love butter, it works culinary miracles, including here!  What else around the house makes everything great?  Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles.  I always seem to have a can of these laying around too, and every time I use them, I always say, "Why don't I use these more?  They're awesome!"  And so, the Southwest Chicken Salad was born.

    You'll need:
     In a small nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add chicken breast, smooshing it into smaller pieces.  If using leftover chicken, tear it into small pieces and heat it the same way.  Keep stirring the chicken in the butter till it starts to soften up and look more like fresh chicken.  Add the Rotel Tomatoes, stirring well.  Cook until the tomatoes just start to soften and the liquid cooks away.  Remove from heat, and set to the side to cool.

    While the chicken mixture is cooling, in a small bowl mix your mayo with the remaining ingredients, except the salt.  When the chicken has cooled to somewhere around lukewarm, mix it into your seasoned mayo.  The mayo on its own, by the way, tastes spectacular on pretty much anything.  Whip up a batch just for the fridge, I do!  Mix the mayo and chicken well, and taste to adjust your salt.  I add just a teeny pinch since the chicken is salty already.  Now, you can either enjoy this as a warm chicken salad, or chill in the fridge covered with plastic wrap.  Garnish with thin sliced green onions and a dash of cilantro when ready to serve.

    I really love having this with some crisp bacon on long ice cold romaine hearts, or centered on top of a bed of baby spinach with sliced olives and avocado.  Of course, it's really great on just a spoon too.  Enjoy!

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