Mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, and celery enliven chicken salad with bursts of wonderful color and flavor.
- 3 stalks celery, 1 coarsely chopped and 2 thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 (12 ounces total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 cup (from one 11-ounce can) canned mandarin orange segments
- 8 (6 or 8 inch) pita breads
- 8 lettuce leaves
Bring 2 cups water, chopped celery, onion, carrot, thyme, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add chicken; cover and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl; let cool, then shred with two forks. Discard contents of pan.
Stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chicken, sliced celery, and almonds. Gently fold in orange segments.
Cut 1 inch from top of each pita to open pocket. Fill each pita with 1 lettuce leaf and 1/2 cup chicken salad.