I'm pretty picky when it comes to chicken salad because I've been surrounded by great recipes my whole life.

I grew up with mom-and-pop soda shops serving homemade chicken salad for the lunch special. Beverly's grandmother would send buckets of homemade chicken salad with us when we'd pass through her town on the way to the beach. And it seems just about every female in my family has a "special" recipe. (Many chicken salad recipes are on Kitchenscoop.com.)

While picking a favorite chicken salad would be like picking a favorite child, I do lean toward recipes with a touch of fruit and nuts.

Enter today's recipe for Cherry Almond Chicken Salad. I've used rotisserie chicken to make it easy, and all the other ingredients either take a quick chop or can be spooned in.

I love to serve this salad on a fancy glass plate surrounded by a other salads, such as potato salad and coleslaw for a summertime trio. But it's just as good on thick slices of whole-wheat bread or spooned onto baby field greens tossed with vinaigrette.

Cherry Almond Chicken Salad

Start to finish: 20 minutes preparation

Serves: 6 cups

1 rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/2 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup chopped tart dried cherries

1/3 cup sliced almonds

Salt and pepper to taste

Skin chicken and remove meat from bone. Tear large pieces into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper, and mix well.

Add chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, in a sealed container.

Approximate values per 1/2 cup: 192 calories (57 percent from fat), 12g fat (3g saturated), 48mg cholesterol, 14g protein, 6g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 117mg sodium.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" (Workman, 1997), "Desperation Entertaining!" (Workman, 2002) and "Cheap. Fast. Good!"(Workman, 2006). Contact them at Desperation Dinners, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or kitchenscoop.com.