Saturday, September 9, 2017

Chicken Salad

Oh my goodness you guys, this was one busy summer.  My special someone and I took a special step, and on the other side of happily ever after it was time to sell the Birchwood Mansion.  I haven't decided what to do about the blog's name yet.  On one hand I didn't change my name so maybe it makes sense not to change the blog's name, but on the other hand the Birchwood Pie Project is no longer coming to you from Birchwood Street.

The Birchwood Mansion wasn't hard to sell (good market, desirable location, etc) but man it was a lot of work.  Every weekend I went out for a long run and then headed over to Birchwood to take care of maintenance and moving stuff.  Yep, just because you don't live there anymore the lawn still grows.

But it wasn't all drudgery.  Along the way, I revisited my chicken salad skills.  There's nothing wrong with the recipe that I posted back in the day, but I was in the market for something new.  I kept honing my skills until I found a worthy tried and true version that I could whip up after my runs and dig into before heading over to my other house.

The changes: I halved the recipe since chicken salad doesn't have a long shelf life, and eliminated the walnuts to free up more calories for mayo.

Yield: enough for 4-5 sandwiches
Recipe from: Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 tablespoon onion or shallot
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chicken salad begins with...chicken.  Get yourself two cups of chicken meat using your method of choice.  For me, it's my go to poaching method.

While the chicken is cooking, head out to the garden and help yourself to plenty of fresh dill (these plants were transplanted from the amazing volunteer dill crop that grew year after year in the Birchwood gardens, a living link between my old home and new one).

What do you do if you don't have a garden or if it's winter?  Easy, grab a generous pinch of dried dill.  Sure, it won't have that special garden magic, but it's still pretty darn good.

 Dice up the dill.

Dice up some celery.

 Start building the salad.  Mix the celery, dill, cranberries, and vinegar.

Add the chicken.

And oh the creamy goodness of the mayo.  The days when I saved calories by using light mayo and light sour cream are long gone...these days I go for the good stuff only with full fat mayo.  But there's still a fine line between just enough and too much.  I always start with 6 tablespoons (that's half of ¾ cup from the original recipe) and add a dash more if needed.  Take a taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Load it up on a sammie.

And eat away.


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