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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Salad Spread

My friend, Sandy C., used to make her WORLD FAMOUS Chicken Salad every time we went to the beach...and she's so good, she'd make homemade sourdough bread to spread it on.  I can't say I have ever had a better sandwich spread...not ever!  It became synonymous with "going to the beach" for my family.  When she gave me the recipe, I would dutifully follow it to the "t" and pack it up in the ice chest, for the family trip...I didn't make the sourdough bread but we all loved it anyway.  It lasts very well in the fridge (although it was always gone by the end of vacation!).  Since we moved to the coast, I've only made it once...because it just makes so much!  Sandy's recipe calls for cooking a whole chicken with a bunch of real specific ingredients...and I'll say it is primo...but, it just makes too much unless we have a group visiting.

I started messing around with it...didn't want to change the basic flavors, but wanted to make an amount that would get eaten up before it turned bad.  I also wanted a "short cut" recipe...and save the full monty for special occasions.

The best I can come up with is my mini version of Sandy's World Famous Chicken Salad.  It takes less time and, because of that, I'm more prone to make it.  That, is a very good thing!



  • 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken (I make sure I get one that is "plain" - no special seasonings - if it's small - you may need more than half)
  • 3 Stalks celery - I use the tops too - they are finely chopped - and they are quite flavorful
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1 cup fresh curly parsley leaves (pick them off the big stems)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried thyme - depending on the pungency of your dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 heaping tsp yellow mustard (like French's - not the dried stuff - the sandwich stuff)
  • 3/8 tsp ground ginger
  • Salt to taste (I used about 1 tsp in today's test recipe)
  • Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (I use the Light product) - enough to make it a spreadable consistency - today I used 5 really heaping tablespoons to get the perfect spreading consistency

Cut Rotisserie Chicken in half and use only one half for this recipe. 

Remove chicken from bone, discarding skin.  If you are a white meat only person, just use the breasts (but use both).  For testing purposes today, my rotisserie chicken was so scrawny I used both breasts and both thighs - it was an incredibly scrawny bird!

Place de-boned chicken in food processor and pulse until crumbly (don't over-process). 
The pulsed chicken - don't go any finer than this

Remove from processor bowl and place in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add celery to processor bowl and process until finely chopped.

Remove from processor bowl and add to bowl with chicken.

Add onion and parsley together to processor bowl and process until finely chopped.

Remove from processor bowl and add to chicken.

The processed ingredients...onwards to the spices
...and yes, it looks like a lot of parsley,
but that is part of the "specialness" of this recipe!
Add seasonings to chicken and vegetable bowl (thyme, salt, mustard, and ginger).

Mix all to incorporate.

Add enough Miracle Whip to reach a "spread" consistency.  Since the chicken is different every time, sometimes it takes a lot, sometimes less...just looking for a spreadable consistency.

The parsley makes it green-flecked, and adds a special "bite" to the flavor, as does the ginger.  Those are key ingredients I never skip.  Curly leaf parsley has more of a bite to it than flat leaf...I always use curly parsley for this.  I've tried leaving out bits and pieces and I've tried using flavored chickens...nope, not a good thing.  Also, the Miracle Whip is key - I've tried it with Mayo...just not the same.

Spread this on some sourdough bread, white sandwich bread, wheat bread or even put it in a pita ... it doesn't really matter... it is an awesome spread.  Add lettuce and tomato or just slap it on some bread and eat it "as is"... that's usually what we do.  Enjoy!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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