Monday, April 18, 2011

Gour-Make It Monday - Not my momma's chicken salad

Don't get me wrong... I LOVE my mother's chicken salad. I ask for it often when I visit her and we nearly always scrape the bowl when it is gone.

Living in SC last year I made a great friend and she and I occasionally had
one another over for lunch.

One of the times she had me over she made chicken salad. I knew right away that something was different.

I've edited her recipe AND momma's to come up with one that I think is sublime, and completely southern.

"Not My Momma's Chicken Salad"

I didn't do the entire thing step by step for a couple reasons, but mainly it was because I was in a hurry to get to Charlotte.

Here is what you'll need:
- 1 lb of chicken (breasts, strips, whatever)
I use boneless skinless, but on the bone is what my mom prefers.
- aluminum foil
- glass baking dish
- 1 small can chunk pineapple
- 3/4 TB to 1 TB of tarragon leaves.
(if you've not bought will be pictured, but they are small leaf pieces)
- salt and pepper
- celery (1 stick...stalk?)
- LOTS of red seedless grapes
(The fatter and firmer the better. squishy grapes just aren't great for this)
- chopping block
- knife
- Hellmans light mayo
- food processor
- croissants
(I buy mine fresh from the bakery no sooner than the day before I want to use them)
- 1 small bag of almond chips

Begin by fully lining your glass dish with aluminum foil leaving enough to come back over the chicken to form a pouch.

Place the chicken in the dish.
I don't wash mine. Recent reports say that it does nothing about the salmonella and that all it does is spread the juices around the kitchen and sink. I did, however drain my chicken before I put it in the dish.

Sprinkle salt and pepper across the top and then also sprinkle your tarragon. I used 3/4 Tablespoon

Pour over all of it your entire small can of pineapple. Juice and all.

Close your foil pouch and bake. Mine was about a pound and a half so I had to bake it on 400 for about 40 minutes. A great rule of thumb is this: If you have a pound of chicken start with 375 for 25 minutes and go from there. Chicken is done when no longer pink inside or out and the inside isn't glassy.

While that is baking I moved onto chipping the celery and grapes.
Wash both and then chop. I chopped the celery like this...

and then I usually 8th the grapes like this...

I also LOVE grapes in mine so I usually add about 1/4th to 1/2 of the pound of grapes. YUP... I love the grapes.

Next I brown the almond chips...
I have never been taught how to do this so I just did my own version which is NOT technical or even right probably.
My chicken was just done in the oven (when it was done inside, I opened the pouch for about 5 more minutes to brown the top just a bit)
I put the almond chips in a small skillet and then spooned some of the juices from the chicken dish in on top of them. Browning only took a minute or two on medium heat.

I have a TINY food processor so I did the rest like this...

I cut up small pieces of the chicken and added it in with a bit of celery and a bit of almonds.. AND a few chunks at a time of the pineapple, process... put into the large bowl... repeat until all processed.

Add in grapes and mayo. (About a quarter to half cup of mayo)


Then, while it is good right out of the bowl, I usually cover mine and let it refrigerate overnight.

Cut croissants length wise and spoon in chicken salad.

EAT! Enjoy!!




  1. Yum! That sounds delicious! I have tarragon growing in my garden, and grapes, too, but my grapes won't be ready for a couple more months. I've made a smiliar chicken salad, but no pineapple and no tarragon. I love tarragon with chicken!

  2. It is seriously good. I LOVE texture in CS thus the almonds, but I also like the texture of the pineapple. It's almost as if the tarragon takes away any too fruity bite and it all melts into perfections!
    dramatic explanation! lol
    Hope you enjoy when you try!