In my previous life as a chef for a busy catering company I was tasked with making a batch of chicken salad for a group of Junior Leaguers from Baton Rouge Louisiana.
Talk about pressure.
If any group of humans on earth know chicken salad it’s going to be a pack of Junior Leaguers from the Deep South.
I was frightened. The company standard that we normally served was certainly fancy. They called it Country Club Chicken Salad and with all the honey, nuts and grapes it certainly qualified as an upmarket version.
But I wanted to go out on a limb and impress these gals with my own take on what chicken salad could be.
And I vowed to do it with dark meat as a riposte against the tradition of these genteel women most certainly only eating white breasts.
Here’s my take on Chicken Salad, a dish that in the right hands can transcend it’s humble roots and impress the most jaded of landed dowagers from the great state of Louisiana
2 lbs Thighs, Chicken, Smoked, boned, hacked
2 c. Mayonnaise, Obviously a good idea to use the good stuff like Hellmans, Duke, Bama or the king of Mayo: Blue Plate
2 each Shallots, minced
1 each Lemon, juiced
1 each Parsley, bunch, Italian, chopped
* Place chicken meat in large bowl
* Add parsley and shallot, combine, lightly salt and pepper
* Pour lemon juice over chicken, toss and let sit for ten minutes
* Drain juice off chicken
* Fold in mayo, it seems like a lot of mayo but the meat will “drink” the mayo i.e soak it in
* Refrigerate for one hour
* Chicken salad is now ready to eat
When a group of nice ladies from the Deep South with names like Honey and Puddin vigorously demolish a mammoth stack of chicken salad croissant sandwiches, then democracy works and the people have truly spoken.
This is the finest chicken salad recipe you’re ever likely to encounter.
Bon Appetit Y’all