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Southern Chicken Salad

Follow these step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for making our old-fashioned, homemade Chicken Salad recipe.  We’re making it from scratch, the way mama use to make it and you’ll find it’s pretty simple and easy to do.  It’s a true southern cooking favorite that makes a great sandwich for a quick and easy meal.  Printable recipe included.

Southern Chicken Salad Recipe:

One of the things I always loved to see mama place on the table was her homemade Chicken Salad.  I loved it… just loved it.  She always made a great big bowl of it several times a month.  It took a prominent place on that oval table most every Sunday and I always enjoyed sandwiches the next day, if any of it happened to be left.  Did I mention that I loved it?

As good as mama’s Chicken Salad was, one of my fond memories of this dish growing up took place before I became a teenager.  We lived about two miles from the middle of downtown for our city.  Most Saturdays, mama would have me “call a cab” (taxi) to take us downtown for an afternoon of shopping.  On a good Saturday, mama would give me enough money to visit one of the local Drug Stores while she went shopping in the ladies clothing store.

This particular drug store had a small area where they sold the best Coca-Cola I’ve ever tasted and a very tasty chicken salad sandwich.  The Coca-Cola was served in a cup with very finely crushed ice and a small straw.  They never put lids on top as I recalled.  The soda fountain wasn’t very large but I will always remember how great those Coca-Colas and their sandwiches were to me.

The Chicken Salad sandwich would be served on toasted bread with a scoop of the meat pressed in between.  Then, they would wrap it in wax paper, place it in a small brown bag, and I’d be out the door.  Most of the time I’d just stand outside the store enjoying my cold soda and that delicious sandwich as other folks walked by.  It was so very good, especially to this youngster.

Mama’s chicken salad was a bit different.  She would always make it using her own special sweet pickles and the juice from the pickle jar.  I”m fully convinced it was those pickles and their juice that made many of mama’s dishes so very special to us all.  It was very sweet and she used it in her chicken salad, potato salad, deviled eggs and other dishes.  I’ve said it before but, I keep thinking maybe one day we can actually bring mama’s sweet pickles to market.  They were just that good to me.

So, I do hope you’ll give our recipe for Chicken Salad a try.  There are a ton of recipes for making it all over the internet with all types of variations.  We grew up pretty simple I guess so ours may seem pretty basic.  It’s just the way I like it and I hope you will too.  Ready to get started?  Then… Let’s Get Cooking.

Southern Chicken Salad Recipe:  You’ll need these ingredients along with one boiled egg.

You’ll need some cooked chicken of course.  I covered the basic process of boiling chicken in my Southern Chicken Pastry recipe that I posted here on Taste of Southern.  If you need some more instructions on doing that, check out that information here:  Southern Chicken Pastry Recipe.  I cooked a whole chicken and used half to make the pastry and the other half for this Chicken Salad.  This is probably about four cups of cooked chicken all together.

Cut the chicken up into small pieces.  You can make this as chunky or as fine as you like.  You could even pulse it a few times in your food processor if you wanted.  I like it a little more along the chunky side so I just chopped it up with a knife.

Place the cutup chicken in a large mixing bowl… something with plenty of stirring room.

Wash the celery stalk under cold water and slice it into very thin slices.

Chop the celery up into a small mince size.

Place the celery in the mixing bowl with the chicken.

Dice up the onions and the pickles.  These are sweet pickles that I make each year using mama’s recipe.  They are very sweet and have been a family favorite forever.  If you don’t have sweet pickles, use a sweet type pickle relish instead.  I also pour some of the juice from the jar into the mixture.

Place the sweet pickles (or relish) and the onions in the bowl.

Add the Dukes Mayonnaise.  You might want to start out easy with the mayo and, add more later as you see you need it, to get a good consistency.

You could add a little sugar if desired, kind of depends on how sweet your relish or pickles might be.  Again, you can always add this at the end once you get it all mixed together if you decide you want it.  You’ve probably heard me say it before but, mama added a little sugar to almost every thing it seems.

Add the Salt.

Add the Black Pepper.

Add the Mustard.

Chop up one boiled egg into very small pieces.  I could never just boil one egg at a time so I have the other one with a little salt and pepper while I’m working.

Add the boiled egg.  I think mama made it sometimes with and, sometimes without, the egg.

Stir it all up really good.  Now’s the time to do a taste test and see if you need a little more salt, pepper, mayo or anything else.  It will get a little more moist after its been in the refrigerator for awhile.

Cover the Chicken Salad and refrigerate it for an hour or two prior to serving.  This will allow the flavors to come together better.

Serve it up and enjoy!

Chicken Salad will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days if covered and properly cooled.  Serve it as a main dish item, on a bed of lettuce or toast up a couple slices of bread and enjoy a delicious Chicken Salad Sandwich.

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