For this sublime chicken salad, we start the poached chicken in cold water so the meat stays silky. Our second trick is hacking (or loosely chopping) the meat, to create jagged shapes that grab onto one another and don't let go when mixed in a divine dressing of mayo, smoky chipotle, and fresh cilantro.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2021


Credit: David Malosh

Recipe Summary

15 mins
1 hr 10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Season chicken with salt; place in a saucepan just large enough to fit it snugly in a single layer. Add broth and enough water to cover chicken by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook at a bare simmer (tiny, sporadic bubbles slowly rising to the surface) until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 160°F, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool until slightly warm, about 30 minutes. Strain and reserve broth for another use.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chipotle, lime zest, onion, and cilantro. In a small bowl, combine radishes, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. Let stand, stirring a few times, 5 minutes. Drain radishes, reserving vinegar mixture.

  • Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Carve chicken against the grain into 1/2-inch slices. With a large, heavy knife (such as a cleaver or chef's knife), hack chicken into bite-size pieces with a brisk chopping motion. Transfer to bowl with mayonnaise mixture, along with 2 tablespoons reserved vinegar mixture; stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Sandwich chicken salad in buns with lettuce, avocado, and pickled radishes; serve.

Cook's Notes

You can make this salad up to three days ahead and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Put the pickled and drained radish slices in a separate airtight container.