Chicken Salad

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I like my chicken salad sans fruit and nuts and leaning more towards the moist side. How do you like your chicken salad?

Years ago I had chicken salad at a party that I fell in love with. Something about the flavor was unique, a little more tangy than a typical chicken salad, but still simple. I really hate it when people try to hide grapes and apples in chicken salad (I know, everyone says it’s good but I just can’t get past the fruit in mayo) so the simplicity of that salad was perfect for me. Unfortunately, it was a family recipe so it wasn’t up for sharing. I thought I detected a flavor similar to coleslaw so I took a little mental note and tucked it away for later. Despite wanting to try my hand at recreating it, it has remained tucked away for several years. Finally last week I decided to give it a go for a simple lunch on the day of my parents arrival to San Diego.

After typing the recipe out it appears that I have taken away from some of the simplicity, but it was thoroughly enjoyed by both of my parents, Sean and me. It had just a hint of tang and, due to a greater amount of liquid than most chicken salads, a nice amount of moisture. I served on sandwich thins with a side of sliced veggies and fruit. With a finer chop on the chicken it would also make a nice topping for crackers.

Tangy Chicken Salad with *Homemade Mayonnaise
(Mayonnaise adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

1 egg, at room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp diced pimentos
2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Add the egg, lemon juice, vinegar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Turn on and process. Very slowly stream the oils into the food processor. After adding all of the oil, process another 30 seconds. You just made mayonnaise! Remove 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (place in an air tight container, pressing plastic wrap into mayonnaise) and store for later use. Place the remainder of the mayo in a large bowl.

To the bowl add the sugar through the lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the chicken, celery, green onions, pimentos and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

* I really liked the flavor the home made mayonnaise with olive oil gave the chicken salad, but if you’re looking for easier prep time you can certainly just use 1/2 cup of store bought mayonnaise.

Note: After 3 days in the fridge it was a little runny. After pouring off some of the excess liquid it still tasted great so don’t worry if it appears to be watery after storage.

Back in the kitchen


If you know me well then you know I love to bake and cook. Some people find their time in the kitchen to be stressful and just not fun. I on the other hand love it. For me it is actually a highly enjoyable experience. I love being able to focus on creating food that others can enjoy. I like the challenge of making things from scratch and trying new recipes. If I am stressed cooking or baking can actually help relieve my stress. Since this whole life change began back in May I haven’t been able to spend nearly as much time in the kitchen as I would like. Now that we are finally settled in our new apartment I feel like I might be able to finally get back in a groove.

Which brings me to today. Today my kitchen was a disaster. It looked like a bomb went off, pots and pans everywhere, splatters around the stove, drips on the counters. It was great. A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen because it’s being used. During my free time between nannying in the morning and afternoon I sometimes start dinner prep so when I get home we can be ready to eat. Today I’m recreating this meal that I blogged way back in 2007. And do you want to know something insane? I made mayonnaise today. Who does that?! Apparently me. I was short 1/4 cup of mayonnaise for the coleslaw so I googled it, I found a recipe, and I made mayonnaise. It was surprisingly really easy. And here is how I did it.


Mayonnaise
(Adapted from: Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Ingredients

1 egg, at room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil

Directions

Add the egg, lemon juice, vinegar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Turn on and process. Very slowly stream the oils into the food processor. After adding all of the oil, process another 30 seconds. Place in a covered bowl, with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the mayo, and refrigerate.