I am someone who is usually filled with words, but with everything going on, I am running out of words. Anything I can think to say seems insignificant right now. So, my post for this month is going to be sharing one of my mom’s (and mine, too!) favorite recipes. It is a recipe that came from a snippet of the Chattanooga newspaper, and has been in her recipe box since my childhood. I wish I could give proper credit to the creator of this amazing chicken salad, but I can’t find it in any of my Google searches. My mom will make this for luncheons with large groups of people because it is easy to make in large batches and it usually has universal crowd appeal. She will make it at the beginning of a family beach trip to snack on throughout the week. She made it after I had my babies to have an easy lunch ready in the refrigerator.
The newspaper clipping title of the recipe was “Delightfully Different Chicken Salad” and that pretty much sums it up. It is much better if you prepare it the day before you plan to eat it and refrigerate it overnight. Another tip to make it easy, especially if you are going to make a big batch, is to get Costco’s shredded chicken. If you didn’t already know this little secret, Costco shreds their leftover rotisserie chicken and puts it in vacuum-sealed freezer packs. This is so easy to keep on hand for chicken casseroles or chicken salad. Ok, so onto the recipe:
Delightfully Different Chicken Salad
2 cups of chicken cooked and shredded (for me this is usually 3-4 chicken breasts)
1 box of chicken flavored Rice a Roni
1 10 oz package of frozen peas, thawed
2 green onions, chopped (optional; I leave this out)
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (reserve the liquid in a bowl to the side)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 of a green bell pepper chopped (optional; I say big strong no here because bell peppers totally destroy the whole thing for me)
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon of curry powder
Cook Rice a Roni according to directions on box until light and fluffy. Add chicken and thawed, uncooked peas. Drain artichoke hearts and reserve the liquid for the dressing. Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces and add to the chicken mixture. Add the chopped celery, and the bell peppers and green onions if you choose to.
In a separate small bowl, make a dressing with the artichoke marinade liquid, soy sauce, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and curry powder. Mix well. Pour this dressing over the chicken mixture and stir everything together with a spoon until it is mixed together well.
And here it the important part: refrigerate overnight! Somehow all of those flavors come together magically as they sit together overnight and great things happen. Trust me. Or trust my mom — she’s the pro. Here is my copy of my mom’s copy of the recipe because she decided we probably shouldn’t risk losing that tiny newspaper clipping. You can see how well loved this recipe is in my book!