Copy THAT! Monica’s Waterfront Cafe “Dilled Chicken Salad”

I went to Monica’s for a wardroom spouses (Submarine Officers wives) get together one afternoon and was told this chicken salad was the bomb….It was! It rarely happens when you put a first bite of something in your mouth and fireworks go off just like in that scene from Ratatouille. (If you have kids you know what I’m talking about!! lol ) In a lack of care about social graces I proceeded to find out what was in the chicken salad that made it so dang savory and delicious. I spit out in my hand what I thought to be a piece of celery. My fellow naval wife said, “green pepper?” I replied…no…PICKLE! I was amused for days how disgusting I probably looked to everyone, but I will never regret it! I feel like I cracked some secret recipe code! I’ve perfected this one and made it at least 4 times now. This is now my favorite chicken salad. Light, fresh, flavorful, and of course inexpensive to make. Enjoy this one and keep it a secret! Hardly anyone will be able to figure out that the secret ingredient is …pickles!!

Tip: A couple weeks later I added some shredded daikon root to this and it was SO good! Try it out!

Makes 4-5 servings 


2 Shredded Chicken Breasts – There are a million ways to do this custom fit to the amount of time/money you have. [READ HERE!]

2 TBS Fresh Dill

1 large celery stick, diced

2-3 pickles, diced (I prefer Klaussen)

2 TBS pickle brine from the jar

1/4 cup Real Mayonnaise (If you try greek yogurt post below and tell me if it works!) I’ve also used Trader Joe’s Light Mayo with success.

1/2 Fresh Squeezed Lemon

1 tsp honey/sugar/stevia…etc

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper


The easiest way to make this is to use a food processor. You will get a nice evenly smooth chicken salad if you do this. You can also finely chop with a chefs knife…but it will take a while.

First, combine the mayonnaise, lemon, honey and dill and pulse until dill has become finely chopped evenly. Then, add the chicken, pickle, celery, salt and pepper and pulse until evenly chopped and as smooth as you want it! (Add daikon if you decide to try!)

Let chill, covered  in the fridge for a few hours for best flavor! Serve in Cabbage/Lettuce/Endive Cups! This can also be enjoyed as a wrap or sandwich with lettuce and tomato!

TIP: To get cabbage leaves to separate run under HOT water and then peel each layer.


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