Chicken salad for the picky picnicker

By on June 24, 2015

I’m not a picnic person — they should be banned.

It’s usually a sea of mayonnaise: Amish macaroni salad, potato salad, chicken salad, deviled eggs. You load up a wafery paper plate and sit in the hot sun (the mayonnaise is also under the same sun). You place your feet in an active balancing position to not fall off the lawn chair.

The mounded (people forget they can go for seconds) plate on your lap from which you eat is getting soggy on the bottom. You look small under the plate. You try to eat with short, plastic forks that have hollow tracks underneath where food gets stuck, so all the food tastes the same. Your hair is blown in your face while you swat a mosquito and you and the food are almost down. And your drink &tstr; you keep an eye on it swishing back and forth in your chair or by your feet in some odd way in the grass, with bees. Someone kicks it.

Lesson from the 1986 Stewardess Rule Book: Don’t take dessert at the same time you take your meal. If your red, white and blue Jell-o cheesecake is not there by the time you are finished with your mound of mayo, it’s not there. Take your chance.

While you’re eating your mayonnaise, don’t sit with the Jell-o cheesecake by your bee punch as if you’re a guarding, growling dog. And don’t keep monitoring it at the table, sit so you can’t see the desserts. Half kidding, but seriously, calm down.

Michele Walter Fry is not a fan of picnics, but she is a huge fan of chicken salad. Give one of her recipes a try this July 4th.

Michele Walter Fry is not a fan of picnics, but she is a huge fan of chicken salad. Give one of her recipes a try this July 4th.

Michele’s Chicken Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked, cubed

white chicken breast

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup vinegar (ACV

or balsamic)

½ cup Craisins

½ cup pecan halves

1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

¼ cup basil or cilantro

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

 

Preparation

Toss and marinate chicken, oil, and vinegar (30 minutes). Add all other ingredients and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on lettuce-lined plates or as an open-faced sandwich.

My mom (Lorraine Walter, lives in Willow Valley) used to make an excellent Perdue Farms “Chunky Chicken Salad” from a recipe found on their chicken breasts in 1989. I’ve updated it to this decade. I like both recipes the same and here is the original.

 

Perdue Farms Chunky Chicken Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked chicken breast

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup vinegar

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup raisins

½ cup pecan halves

1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

½ cup mayo

 

Preparation

Toss and marinate chicken, oil, and vinegar. Marinate 30 minutes. Add all other ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

 

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at michelewalterfry@gmail.com.

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