Thursday, October 1, 2015
How Did She Do It?
One day there is going to be an argument in my family. And it will be about my chicken salad. "I KNOW she put pecans in it." (Yes, I did.) "No. She made it with apples." (Yes. That's correct.) "Well, I'm pretty sure it didn't have nuts or apples. It had pickles." (Yes. You're right.)
I always made it with toasted pecans years ago. Until Big Sister couldn't eat nuts anymore, so I switched to diced apples. I made buckets of it that way last year when I stayed with them in Arkansas so long. Then this summer, I just forgot about using apples all of those times. I still couldn't use pecans, because now Daddy-O doesn't eat nuts. I made it with salad cubes (diced pickles) instead.
When Jessica asked if I'd make more for Boyfriend's birthday, she told me, "Oh...and he doesn't eat pickles." So I went back to nuts for him. By now Mommy has reminded me, "But you always make it with apples!"
All of the other ingredients always remain the same. It always has celery. It always has cheese. It's that third add-in that I change around. This week, I'm back to the apple version.
To be truthful, I don't measure anything. But then, I've made lots and lots and lots of chicken salad. Just know that you don't have to be precise. And it probably takes more mayonnaise than you think. Just so you know, I like all of these variations.
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt (I just give it a good shake)
1 large rib celery, diced fine
1 medium red apple, unpeeled & diced (or toasted pecans or salad cubes)
1/2—3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
sprinkle of salt
a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
enough Duke's mayonnaise (or other good quality mayo) to make it spreadable
Cook chicken in water with seasoning salt added, until tender, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool in broth, until cool enough to handle. Chop chicken medium-fine. In a large bowl, add in celery, apple and cheese. Add in enough mayonnaise to make it spreadable. I start with 3 or 4 big tablespoons full and stir and then add more, one spoonful at a time, until I get the right amount. (Because chicken breasts and celery and apples are different sizes, it's hard to be precise with a mayo measurement.) Stir until well blended and spreadable.
Tonight I'm eating the very last of this week's chicken salad. Mommy, Big Sister, Little Sister and Baby Girl have been here for a few days while they were on fall break. I made a big batch of chicken salad for sandwiches because everyone likes it. We had fun with them here. The noisy, messy kind of fun that you have with very little people. And today they headed home. So tonight the toys are picked up. The sippy cups are put away. The kitchen is clean. Daddy-O is at a dinner meeting. It's just me and my sandwich and a cup of Zen tea. It's quiet here. It's a little too quiet.
It does feel good to sit still and prop my feet up. But I'll miss reading bedtime stories tonight. I'll miss the early morning snuggles tomorrow. Hope it won't be long until we see them again.