Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jason's Chicken Salad

To switch things up my sweet husband has agreed to write a post about his mom's famous chicken salad, recipe included, which is often tweaked to recreate the original. After lots of practice and playing around with measurements I think his recipe is equally as good.

We all have a special dish that reminds us of our childhood.  For me, it’s mom’s chicken salad which was a staple around our house and the center piece at her restaurant, Chantilly’s.  To be 100% honest though, the story of mom’s chicken salad begins with her mother, Inez, or as the family knew her …. Mimi. 
Mimi grew up in Johnston County, Pine Level, among a family of farmers where hard work and faith was a part of each day.  Either by necessity, skill or both……. Mimi became a great cook.   It was a guarantee when we visited that Mimi would have a freshly baked German chocolate cake, a huge pot of vegetable soup, fresh vegetables from the garden, frozen blueberries which were a favorite treat and last but not least ……. chicken salad.  The chicken salad was great for dinner (lunch to you city folk), supper or anytime in between …... served on bread (white bread only), crackers or by itself. 
Mom would talk about trial and error in the kitchen but would also evolve into a great cook and carried on the tradition of Mimi’s chicken salad with the opening of Chantilly’s.  Chantilly’s was inspired by a dream and sustained by her determination but its existence can be credited to many.  My brother (Dr. of Wood and Master of All) for transforming a consignment shop into a restaurant, my sister (the only one who actually had any restaurant experience) for shaping the business and friends who served as restaurant staff and made all the hard work fun.  The chicken salad at Chantilly’s was featured the following ways…… scoop with accompanying fruit and pasta salad, part of a sampler dish, chicken salad melt, the sandwich or a scoop on a garden salad.
Mom always said that she couldn’t make it as good as Mimi and I say the same thing about hers today.          
Jason's Chicken Salad
- 3 chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons red or green pepper, chopped
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 2 -3 tablespoons sweet relish
- 3 tablespoons light ranch dressing- Naturally Fresh is recommended
- 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste

- Sprinkle the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven on 350 for 20-25 minutes, or cooked through
- Finely chop or shred the chicken
- In a mixing bowl add the chicken with all of the ingredients
- Mix together (Clean hands work perfectly here) all of the ingredients.


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