Sometimes when I work on an old recipe, it feels like restoring an antique piece of furniture or an old car. Heirloom recipes can be just perfect as they are, but sometimes (often) they need some tweaking to come into line with modern standards. This chicken salad is a case in point. I wanted to make a classic Chicken Salad, like the one I remember having as a child. We always had some kind of creamy salad in the refrigerator for snacks or sandwiches–Chicken, Egg or Tuna. I think now they have fallen out of favor somewhat because they can be really rich.
When I went to my old standby, Joy of Cooking, I found that the recipe for 4 servings called for 2 cups of cooked chicken and 1 cup of mayonnaise! Holy moly that is a lot of mayonnaise. I am a mayonnaise lover but I don’t think I could eat 1/4 cup of it in one serving. Plus, it is not necessary, a little bit binds the salad together and adds flavor. For those mayonnaise haters who gag at the mere thought, just leave it out. You can use left-over chicken meat, or poach a couple chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes. This makes a delicious sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread.
|Chicken Apple Salad|
- 1/2 cup apple, diced
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup celery, diced
- 1 TBLS. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
- 1 TBLS. vegetable oil
- 1 TBLS. chopped herbs (parsley and tarragon are good but be creative)
- 3 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- to taste salt and pepper
- sprinkling of toasted walnuts (optional)
- Mix together the apple, onion, celery and lemon juice. Make sure they are well coated with the lemon juice.
- Add the mustard powder, curry (if using), oil, mayonnaise, herbs, chicken, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.