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Southwestern Smoked Chicken Salad

Traditional chicken salad is sweet, and served at frilly events. We've pumped this smoked chicken salad with jalapeno and spicy seasoning, your taste buds won't know what hit 'em. Load in tortillas or between thick slices of Traeger baked bread for a hearty smoked chicken meal.

  • Difficulty2/5
  • Prep time30 mins
  • Cook time1 hr
  • Serves4
  • Recommended HardwoodCherry


Cold Water1 quart
Kosher Salt1/4 cup
Chicken Breasts, bone-in or boneless4 large
Chicken Thighs, bone-in or boneless4
Red Bell Pepper, finely diced1/2
Green Bell Pepper, finely diced1/2
Scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced2
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers, minced1-2 Tbsp.
Mayonnaise1 cup
Fresh Lime Juice,1 Tbsp. or more to taste
Ground Cumin1 tsp.
Black Pepper, freshly ground1 tsp.
Garlic Salt1/2 tsp.
Fresh Cilantro leaves, minced2 Tbsp.
Paprikafor serving


For the brine, in a large saucepan or mixing bowl, combine the water and salt and stir until the salt crystals dissolve. Add the chicken breasts and thighs. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Drain, but do not dry the chicken: Smoke clings better to wet surfaces.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

Arrange the chicken on the grill grate and smoke for 30 minutes. Increase the temperature to 350F and continue to cook the chicken until the juices run clear and the internal temperature when read on an instant-read meat thermometer is 165F, 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Dice the chicken, discarding any skin, bones, or gobbets of fat.

Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the red and green bell peppers, the scallions, and pickled jalapenos. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, black pepper, and garlic salt. Stir in the cilantro.

Add the dressing to the chicken mixture and stir gently until well-combined.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Dust with paprika. Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 3 days.

  • Difficulty2/5
  • Prep time30 mins
  • Cook time1 hr
  • Serves4
  • Recommended HardwoodCherry

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