Sunday, November 25, 2012

Susan's Super Chicken Salad

I've been struggling with some technical issues here on the blog lately. I recently ran out of picture storage space and had to upgrade. The upgrade took 24 hours to take effect, however, which kinda nixed my timing on Friday's book post.

Anyhoo, today's recipe comes to you courtesy of my friend and coworker Susan (everyone say, "hi"). She makes the best chicken salad. The BEST. Seriously, I hate chicken salad and I could eat this by the bucketful. So, I was really happy when she gave me permission to share it on the blog. (If you make it, soon, you'll be really happy, too. Just saying).

What You'll Need
Large pot                                                                       Knife for slicing and dicing
Large mixing bowl                                                        Measuring cups
Cutting board                                                                Mixing spoon
18 oz cooked chicken                                                     4 boiled eggs
1/2 yellow onion                                                            Sweet pickle relish
Granny Smith apple                                                       Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped pecans                                                    Mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups cranraisins                                                  Bread

Now Let's Make Chicken Salad!
First note, you want to boil your eggs in advance. If you're new to this process, a great tutorial/ walk through can be found here. You can also buy hard boiled eggs in the deli or salad section of your grocery store.

You only need the large pot if you need to cook your chicken. 18oz of chicken is about 3 chicken breasts. Bring a pot of water to boil, add the chicken and cook until done (chicken should be white throughout). Shred your chicken and place in the large mixing bowl. I already had leftover chicken, so I just had to shred it. This recipe is a great way to use up leftovers.

Take your yellow onion, peel it and cut it in half. Set one half aside for another day. Mince the remaining half as finely as your streaming eyes will allow, and add it to the bowl of chicken. Susan's original recipe calls for grating the onion, so feel free to go with that option, too.

Next, you need to dice your apple. I like to go ahead and slice my apple, removing the seeds and core from each the slices. Then I slice along the length of the apple piece, turn it and slice perpendicularly across the cuts I just made. I find this to be the easiest method for me to dice apples. However, feel free to follow your bliss. Add your chopped apple to the bowl of chicken.

Grab a couple handfuls of pecans and place them on your cutting board. Begin chopping the pecans by rocking your knife back and forth across the pecans. Stop occasionally to gather them back into a pile and resume chopping until all the pecans are in pieces. You can also buy pre-chopped pecans, however, it's much cheaper to buy halves and do it yourself. Add the chopped pecans to the bowl of chicken.

(Guess what? That's right - more chopping!) Now you need to cut up your boiled eggs. If you've boiled your own make sure you peel them first (what's that? Duh? *shakes head* You'd be amazed). Gently slice the eggs, then turn your slices and cut the eggs into small cubes. Add the eggs to the bowl of chicken.

By now you should have a bowl full'o'ingredients. Add 1 1/2 cups cranraisins, and add salt, pepper and sweet pickle relish to taste (In my case, taste means no relish. blegh!) Using your mixing spoon, gently mix the ingredients together.

Now it's time to add the mayo.  You want the "salad to be moist but not mayonnaisey" per Ms. Susan. So, start by adding two heaping spoonfuls and mixing that in (I just use my mixing spoon to "measure"). I found that I had to add one more heaping spoonful and tiny bit more.

Pile the chicken salad onto a piece of bread. I find that a heavy, coarse bread like rye or pumpernickel is best.

Top it off with another slice and enjoy!


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