Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Culinary Brilliance

OK. I can't leave y'all hanging without giving you the recipie (did I spell that right?) for the best chicken salad in the world. I got it from the cookbook my company published, but I've modified it a little. I've put my version here, but I put what the original says next to it.


1. Chicken (duh). The recipie calls for 3 cups of cooked chicken. Generally, unless I am making it for a potluck or something, I just use whatever leftovers I might have if I buy a chicken or cook one. Once rotisserie chicken from the supermarket makes about 3 cups if you pick it totally clean.

2. Celery. I like celery, so I use a lot of it. The recipie calls for 1.5 cups.

3. Almonds. The recipie calls for 0.5 cups chopped. I leave these out because I think nuts are evil.

4. Onion. The recipie says 2 tsp grated. I usually just buy the smallest onion I can find in the supermarket and throw it in the food chopper.

5. Lemon juice. I leave this out because I have no idea what it is supposed to do. The recipie calls for 2 Tbsp.

Mix all that stuff up.

6. Mayonaisse. I use only Hellman's Light Mayo, because that's the kind I like. It isn't as heavy, and I suppose it isn't as bad for you. The recipie says a cup, but I usually just eyball it and put enough in that when it's mixed in, all the stuff is well-coated, but it isn't just dripping Mayonaisse, either.

7. Salt and Accent seasoning. Now here is the major difference, and maybe why this is the best chicken salad ever. I don't use either of these things. I use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. For those of you who are Yankees, you may not be able to find this. If you can't find it in your local supermarket, ask the manager to carry it. You don't need to use much of it; I certainly don't use as much as most of the folks around here do. But it really brings out the flavor of food, both vegetables and meat. If you use too much, though, it gets really, really, spicy hot. I use it in stew, in stir-fry, in vegetables, rice...pretty much everything you can imagine. But because I need so little of it, the can I currently have (which cost about 3 bucks) has lasted me six months now, and it is only about half gone. If you can't find it where you live, let me know and I'll tell you where to find it on-line.

Mix everything together.

8. Potato chips and cheese. This is to put on top. I don't ever use the cheese because I don't like cheese and chicken together. The potato chips are OK, but if you have day-old bread, or leftover biscuits or cornbread, throw that in the food processor and grind it up. It's even better.

Stick the casserole dish in the over at 450 for 10-15 minutes. Yes, the oven. This may be the other reason this is so good. I guess the heat does something to the mayonaisse or something. I don't know, but I know it is really good.

I've made this for a couple of church potlucks, and it is always really popular. It's a great dip if you chop the chicken really, really fine (again, the food processor/chopper is good for this), or good for lunch if you leave it chunks.

And yes, I rarely follow recipies as written, and yes, my cooking technique really does resemble the above directions. I also don't use knives to cut things with because I am a danger to myselves an others.

Oh, and I'm still looking for challenges as seen in my previous post.

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