Sunday, May 29, 2016

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Chicken Salad

One of my top five favorite things that I have ever eaten and will ever eat is my grandmother's famous chicken salad, especially in sandwich form. That is saying something because sometimes when you take a bite of something in Italy, the flavor(s) and texture(s) stop you in your tracks. Her chicken salad is simple; it consists of diced chicken, celery and a homemade "salad dressing." Growing up, whenever I visited her in Delaware, I would usually always have some as much as I could! I don't believe she makes it anymore, but relatives try and end up with a close result at family events. Maybe I'll copy the recipe and attempt to perfect it myself... All of her children, grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren grew up eating it and rave about her's. Even me, the one who does not like mayonnaise!

I do not normally stock this condiment in my home. If I do own a bottle of mayo or Miracle Whip salad dressing, then I likely toss it into the trash unopened long past its expiration date. The only things I can think of that I consume containing this ingredient are chicken salad and cole slaw. If I eat or prepare pasta salad, macaroni salad, or potato salad, it would be olive oil-based.

I'm really picky about ordering a chicken salad sandwich in a restaurant or for takeout. Usually, it is drenched in mayo! And then, they may try to make it fancy by adding grapes, cranberries, walnuts, etc. which I am simply not into. I realize that I'm not being very Pinterest popular on that one!

Luckily, the deli of my local grocery store makes a pretty decent Rotisserie Chicken Salad. This simple variety is quite the popular item. Craving some sort of sandwich this week, I picked up a pound this morning. This more expensive prepared food is an out-of-the-ordinary purchase for me.

For lunch today, I piled it high between two slices of a round Italian loaf I selected from the deli department (that I had yet to try). The coarse crumb of the bread contrasted with the soft chicken salad, so it was a better choice than a plain soft loaf of white "Italian" bread from the bread aisle that I was planning to buy since it's so much cheaper. I added a sprinkle of celery salt, which I normally do, to cut the mayo taste just a bit. On the side, I had a few grape tomatoes, slices of sharp cheddar, and Harvest Wheat Toasteds crackers as well as a serving of (five) pretzels (another out-of-the-ordinary (but usually craved in the summer) item and just a bit of a healthier option than chips). It was delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed this simple pleasure that goes way back to childhood for me.

Do you have a family food that you simply love?

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