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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chicken Salad Spread...As a Dip!

I've written about this fabulous Chicken Salad Spread before...the base recipe is from my old and dear friend (she's not old, she's an old friend), Sandy Crump.  It was always known as our special beach vacation sandwich spread.

Nowadays, Sandy says she doesn't make it much...her husband is not a fan.  My husband, however, is a huge fan, and he got an unexpected day off, giving him a 3-day week-end and he is on the road home!  Now that we live on a bay with easy beach access, this treat is no longer reserved for vacation.  I think he'll be plesantly surprised to find it ready upon his arrival home.

Now, here's the deal....we don't watch sports on television....GASP...I know, I know...we are weird.  On Super Bowl Sunday, we are almost considered unpatriotic.  I am, however, compelled to bake or cook something to snack on while we watch a movie or one of our DVRd shows Sunday evening.  We participate...just without the football.  I will, like many others, review the commercials on Monday...and I'll find the half-time show and secretly watch it (my husband is not a Madonna fan).  That's about as "superbowlish" as we get in our household.

So, since my hubby has this unexpected week-end at home, I wasn't prepared for "man food" and scurried to Wal-mart where I grabbed a rotisserie chicken, some parsley, and some celery.  I had everything else on hand.  I decided I'd make the chicken salad spread a bit more creamy than usual and use it as a dip.  I'll use the excess celery for dipping sticks along with some whole grain crackers.  Using a rotisserie chicken makes this a GREAT last-minute a dip, a sandwich, or even spread on a tortilla, rolled up and sliced as a chicken salad spiral!

I'll also mix up a bowl of non-fat Greek Yogurt and some chunky jarred salsa, add some fresh avocado chunks and that will be another tasty dip to go along with our baked Tostitos Scoops.  (I'm still in my New Year's "try to eat healthier" the usual Velveeta based Queso with pork sausage is out this year).  That's what I had planned for myself before I knew Papa Bear would be arriving.

The teen had suggested I make some pizza that will likely be the other offering of the day.  He'll probably be in his man cave watching DVR'd stupid stuff, listening to music, and playing his PSP...all simultaneously.  Jeez I sound old when I complain about that.  I don't know how he stands it.  He turns the captions on the television, plugs into the music, and I guess the PSP doesn't require sound to play successfully.  I don't know...really don't WANT to know!  At least it's not loud...and for that I'm thankful.  He doesn't watch much televised sports either - he might channel surf by the Super Bowl and watch for a bit, but I'll be surprised if it keeps his attention for long.  It must be genetic.

Between all of the above, this will be more than adequate snacking for our non-Super Bowl television night!

Here's the recipe again (this time the full version - the previous post was a half version) for Sandy's World Famous Chicken Salad - ala Flip Flop Foodie (who uses a rotisserie chicken and tweaks it a bit).



  • 1 Traditional Rotisserie Chicken
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 bunch fresh curly parsley leaves (pick them off the big stems)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme - depending on the pungency of your dried thyme may need more
  • 3 heaping teaspoons yellow mustard (like French's - not the dried stuff - the sandwich stuff)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (I use the Light product) - enough to make it a spreadable consistency - today I used 1 cup to get the correct dipping consistency...normally it's a little less for sandwich spreading.

  • Method:

    Allow the chicken to sit long enough that it may be handled without burning your fingers.  Clean the chicken skin off first, and pick the bones clean of good meat.  I use every last bit - back, front, sides...the whole shebang.
    That chicken was picked clean!

    Place meat in the large bowl of your food processor with chopping blade in place. 

    Pulse meat until it is large crumbed.  Don't go too far, you don't want chicken paste.  It should be crumbly textured.

    Remove the chopped chicken to a good sized mixing bowl.  Return blade and bowl to processor.

    Clean an entire bunch of celery.  Use 5 sticks of celery cut into smaller pieces to go into the bowl of the food processor.  Process it until finely chopped.  Remove the celery to the bowl with the chopped chicken.  Return blade and bowl to processor.

    Reserve the rest of the celery, cut into 3-4 inch chunks or so, for dipping into the chicken salad "dip" at service.

    Peel and rough chop the onion and place in food processor bowl.

    Take half of the bunch of curly parsley and pick the leaves off the large stems.  It seems like a lot, but it pulses down a lot.  Don't skip the parsley either - the sharp bite of the parsley really adds to the flavor of this particular recipe.  Add the prepared parsley to the onion in the food processor bowl.  Pulse the two together until very fine. 

    Remove the onion and parsley to the mixing bowl with the chicken and celery.

    You are finished with the processor now.
    Thoroughly incorporate the processed ingredients in the mixing bowl.

    Add the thyme, ginger, salt, pepper, mustard, and salad dressing to the mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly blended.  Add more Miracle Whip if needed for desired consistency.

    Move to a tightly covered storage bowl and allow to chill for several hours.  The flavors will intensify as a couple of hours pass.  I like it best the next day.  Sometimes, the day after, there is separated watery stuff from the celery and onions and you have to mix everything well again...but that's no biggie.

    It tastes wonderful - and I bow to Queen Sandy's creation...for us, it is indeed, the best chicken salad which brings us many fond memories of family vacations with every bite.  Her original recipe calls for cooking a whole chicken in a pot, seasoned with veggies.  That seemed like so much work that we didn't get to eat this very often.  A rotisserie chicken works's not 100% like Sandy's, but it does the trick!
    My husband arrived and ate the entire bowl of chicken salad
    that I had set up for the photograph.  He was a happy man
    and is now sitting in his recliner sound asleep. 
    That six hour drive is killer!

    Bon Appetit, Y'all!



    1. What a wonderful recipe. It sounds pretty tasty. I bookmarked it to try later. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Innnnteresting - but oddly appealing! I love it :)

    3. i love it. Used sour cream instead of mayo.


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