Chicken Salad

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.

Chicken Philly Hoagy

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Hoagies are a staple in our meal rotation. I like them because they are so versatile and usually very quick to throw together. I make steak hoagies, chicken hoagies, meatball hoagies… you name it, we’ve probably put it on a hoagy roll for dinner. Now, one day, I will get around to making my own rolls but for now the LaRosa’s kind work perfectly. (LaRosa’s is a popular Cincinnati pizza restaurant and they sell these rolls in our local grocery store) For tonight’s dinner I went the Chicken Philly route.

Chicken Philly Hoagy

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I like to cook mine in a grill pan with a seasoning blend I have, along the same lines of Nature’s Seasoning)
1/2 onion cut into thin strips
8-10 button mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
2-3 tbsp butter or olive oil spread
salt and pepper to taste
Sliced cheese, I like provolone, swiss or white american
Hoagy Rolls

Pre-heat an oven to 375 degrees

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted drop in the onions, mushrooms and peppers. Reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook until the onions start to turn gold brown about 10 minutes. Stir often. Half way through add the salt and pepper.

When the vegetables are done add the shredded chicken and cook for an additional minute. While that is cooking open the hoagy rolls and spread the mayonnaise on the inside (For Jesse I put a little on the bottom half and the top half, for mine I only put some on the top half)

Spoon the chicken/vegetable mixture onto the bottom half of the hoagy roll. Lay the cheese on top of the meat and then put the top half of the hoagy roll back on.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Serve with chips or oven fries.

Cooking Tip!

This recipe will make enough filling for 3-4 hoagy rolls. I usually only make 2 and save the rest of the filling. Later in the week I’ll heat the filling up in a skillet, add some chicken broth, garlic, cream and a few other spices and toss with pasta. Voila, two meals from one nights prep!