A Southern Grace: salad shmalad

January 1, 2013

salad shmalad


WHY, oh why is the mushed and molded combination of chicken, fruits, nuts, and vegetables called chicken salad? Is it because of the mayonnaise? It's misleading to me, for when someone tells me they're going to serve chicken salad, I don't necessarily know whether I should expect a bed of greens with grilled chicken sitting atop it or the aforementioned mixture. Methinks a distinction is needed.

Muddled chicken? Chicken mishmash? Potpourri of chicken? I dunno, but someone should come up with something. I guess the same applies to tuna salad, egg salad, and ham salad. For some reason, I'm okay with potato salad, perhaps because no meat is involved (unless it's a really good potato salad and there's bacon in it...).

You all already know that I take issue with the names of many foods, but what really matters in the end is the taste. This is a marvelous version of a lunch classic. One of the best things about it is its adaptability--if you don't have any craisins, raisins or fresh grapes would be just fine. Basil too expensive right now? No problem! Use parsley or cilantro. A pear can easily replace the apple and walnuts are just as tasty as pecans. Personalization is fun!

So I'm starting off 2013 with a relatively nutritious recipe. Don't get used to it.

Potpourri of Chicken
Makes about 6 servings
  • 4 cups shredded poached chicken
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped in a small dice
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, or more or less to achieve desired consistency
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In a mixing bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, scallions, apple, pecans, craisins, and basil. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Add to the chicken and mix gently until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That sandwich look mighty scrumptious.

Happy New Year!



Alicia Foodycat said...

What the US calls egg salad, the UK calls egg mayonnaise. Truth in advertising! This is a great looking sandwich. I do love stuff mixed up with mayonnaise.

My Kitchen Stories. said...

yes very misleading. I like a salad to be totally crunchy things with a tiny bit of dressing ,s so I would be very confused if I was served a chicken mish mash with mayo. on the other hand if you said you were gonna serve this sandwich Id be fine with it!

Jackie@ Syrup and Biscuits said...

I have the same conundrum with chicken salad. I don't know whether to expect mayonnaise or lettuce. Your potpourri looks wonderful!

Joanne said...

I've always wondered about this salad business. But chicken mishmash does sound quite appropriate.

Lynda said...

I agree; one never knows what chicken salad is until you see it. I love it the way you make it Grace, except I use a crisp lettuce instead of the basil. But maybe I should try the basil next time for extra flavor. Anyway, your picture looks yummy.
Happy New Year to you!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I vote for Chicken Mishmash---and this looks like just what I need today ---Happy New Year Grace!

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly. The other thing is when you get a chicken salad sandwich that has eggs in it. If I wanted egg salad, I would have ordered egg salad. I wanted chicken salad!! If I'm making a salad with chicken in it, I'll say grilled chicken something or other, etc. to differentiate. Reminds me of when I was a kid and I'd hear we were having pizza for dinner. I'd get all excited only to go home and find out my grandmother was making homemade pizza with some sort of Pillsbury dough crust. I liked that, but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting when I heard Pizza for dinner!! :(

I Wilkerson said...

An interesting dilemma! And I could actually use a good chicken salad... er, chicken potpourri recipe, so I'll have to try this!

CharlesR said...

In my neck of the woods, (Canada) we would just call this a Chicken Salad Sandwich.

So I guess you could say it is

Chicken Salad for Sandwiches.

Potpourri Chicken would just confuse me.

All said and done.

This looks delicious and I'm definitely going to make it.

Thank you for sharing.

Have a Joyful Day :~D

Savor The Baking said...

Happy New Year and I love chicken salad whether it be in the form of lettuce or in a sandwich. For the kind that goes in a sandwich I sometimes substitute mayonnaise for a little ranch dressing, Thanks for sharing this recipe and Happy 2013.

Karly said...

You could make this super healthy if you swapped the mayo for greek yogurt!

Hahahaahaha! I would never do that. Not in one million years.

Love this recipe. I've never had craisins in chicken salad. Verrrrrry interesting.

Ally said...

Looks like a yummy sandwich!

I'm not a huge mayo fan so I started subbing out the mayo in my chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches lately with Greek yogurt. Tastes great and even the uber picky bf likes it!

Carolyn Jung said...

A popourri sandwich? Love it! Whatever you call it, it sure looks delicious.

Barbara said...

Now that's a chicken salad one can love! I've added fruit here and there but never raisins. Love that idea.
Happy New Year, Grace!

Gloria Baker said...

this is perfect Grace!!!

vianney said...

love the addition of fruit and raisins, my kiddos would love it!

Blond Duck said...

I've been craving chicken salad, you read my mind! I want to know why they call green goo jello things salad. My MIL made some at Christmas and it was NOT salad. Just goo. Jiggily goo.

Unknown said...

I guess I must not be very fussy, don't much care what you call it so long as it tastes good and this certainly looks wonderful

Deborah said...

I'm totally going to start calling it potpourri of chicken - love it!! And love this sandwich!

cakewhiz said...

it's after midnight here but i wish it was lunch time so i could have a bite of your sandwich...lol

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe well you see my vegetable hating sister loves chicken salad and pasta salad so she considers herself to be a salad eater! :P Happy New Year Grace!

Unknown said...

Sounds delicious! I love a good chicken salad sandwich in the wintertime, especially with a nice melted slice of cheese on top :)

lisa is cooking said...

I love a good, homemade chicken salad. I never seem to like it as much pre-made from a deli or whathaveyou. The fruit and nuts make this one stellar!

vanillasugarblog said...

LOVE provolone on my chicken sammich!!!!

Erica said...

I love homemade chicken salad and yours sounds tasty and looks delicious,Grace!I love the addition of fruit!

Becki's Whole Life said...

I agree with you - chicken salad = confusing! I do love most of these types of salads though. I particularly like chicken salad some a bit of fruit so this sounds amazing. I am a purist on the mayo and only Hellmans in my chicken salad.