Why buy the expensive deli chicken salad when you can make our Copycat Willow Tree Chicken Salad at home? (It’s just as good!)
A few years back when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had food cravings like most pregnant woman do. One of my cravings was for Willow Tree chicken salad. Almost every day for lunch, I went to a little sandwich shop about a block away from my office, and I would get the exact same thing to eat: a Willow Tree chicken salad sandwich (and this sandwich shop specifically stated it was Willow Tree for good reason!) on sourdough bread, milk, and a piece of fruit.
Willow Tree Farm is a New England-area food company and poultry farm based out of Attleboro, Massachusetts, famous for their deli chicken salad and chicken pot pies. According to the Willow Tree website, they credit their chicken salad as one of the reasons the company has flourished over the years, and their products are also sold at grocery chains all along the East Coast of the United States.
My husband learned of my Willow Tree chicken salad craving – and being the sweetheart that he is – he set out to recreate this chicken salad recipe at home just for me. (It’s always important to keep a pregnant lady happy!) 😉
Jack started with the recipe found online here (someone else must have had a similar craving) but tweaked it further after reading the ingredients which the folks at Willow Tree were nice enough to list on their website as well. I think Jack has come pretty close with the recipe we’ve listed below. Enjoy!
A few last notes: This recipe was originally shared here on A Family Feast in November 2012. We’ve updated the original photo (you can see that below – our food photography has definitely improved over the years) and we included a video as well (see above). Our readers love this recipe – even those readers who never tasted the original Willow Tree version!
I do also want to thank the folks at Willow Tree for being such great sports about this copycat recipe. As you can see in the comments below, the folks at Willow Tree have been following along with our readers’ comments and closely guarding the family’s real chicken salad recipe!
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A copycat recipe of the famous Willow Tree chicken salad.
- 1 pound cooked chicken breast
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons finely minced celery
- 3 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, blend chicken breasts until thoroughly shredded, or shred by hand. (Note: Shredded chicken rather than diced chicken pieces will help recreate the original Willow Tree chicken salad texture.)
- Remove bowl from the stand mixer and add in all other ingredients. Stir by hand to mix well.
- Serve over lettuce leaves or in sandwiches.
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