Saturday, December 1, 2007

Chicken Salad

Southerners take food to people for many reasons. Funerals, pot luck, illness, parties, to show off. It’s always good to have something that will fit the above situations and if it’s one thing that works, more the better. When a dear friend was recently in an accident, I asked her if I could do anything for her. She said, "Would you please make some chicken salad ?" When Anne Clayton and I owned our catering company/carryout, we made vats of chicken salad every day. The chicken man was a fixture at our kitchen and pots of chicken breast pieces bubbled away on the stove. Beautiful “poison green” Granny Smith apples waited to be diced and put in the mix.
People bought it by the pound, the sandwich, the half sandwich, the pint. It flew out the door.

I think knowing how to make a good chicken salad is very important. It’s easy to do these days thanks to the availability of roasted chickens at the grocery store. You can make it low fat, high fat, with nuts without nuts with grapes without grapes … you name it. Here is one we sold at Clayton Blackmon for years. It will make a couple of pounds of chicken salad. Enough to keep and to give away in the best Southern tradition

Chicken Salad

1 -1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, boiled til cooked, cooled and diced(you can also use a roasted chicken from the grocery, if you wonderfully)
2 large Granny Smith apples, cut up in small dice, and let sit in water with lemon juice in it
1 head celery, washed and cut in dice
15 oz Hellmann’s can use lowfat or regular but it must be Hellmann's
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Coarse salt to taste (or Lawry's seasoned salt)
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 whole lemon
1 cup chopped pecans

Put meat in large bowl. Shred with your fingers. Drain the apples, pat dry and add to the chicken along with celery, mayonnaise, pecans and season with salt or Lawry’s and pepper. Squeeze lemon over top and mix well.

You will love it!


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