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Alayne's Chicken Salad Recipe and Story

My grown son is now in his own condo and this collection of recipes I called, Dearest Michael were written when he was younger as you will see by my references, as a gift to him for this very moment. 

Whether you read them for the story or the recipe, know that they were written as a tribute to the many people who have influenced my kitchen, my cooking and my notion of family.

Dearest Michael,
I may not be the best cook, but what I do know is that I am a most creative one. I love using food for multiple recipes and I seldom waste anything. One of my favorite ways to cook is to make multiple recipes from something. Dad and I taught you by our example that leftovers are a good thing and I am always surprised when I find out from someone that they don’t ever use leftovers or take food home from a restaurant.


Your Great Grandmother, Isabelle, was famous for taking home food from restaurants and freezing it for meals later. I learned after watching her for so many years be the sole cook for Grandpa Herbie and I assume that after all that time, she was just tired. 

Regardless, I am happy that we instilled the notion of no food waste and the spirit of creative cooking in you.


This chicken salad recipe came from a pre-made chicken salad I saw at the market for some exorbitant price. What makes this recipe so great is the ease of it and I am going to give you a few options in preparing this as well as some additional recipes if you just make some extra while you are prepping. This is one of those recipes you can spoon right out of the bowl, use it for a sandwich or make it into something else too, like a buffalo chicken dip (recipe included too) or something funky like a chicken potato salad.


One of the many joys of parenting has been watching you grow up to find your way in your own kitchen and to watch your palette grow up as you are comfortable trying many different foods and recipes in your own kitchen. I am so happy about this. Food and kitchens connect us and I am sure your future family (and ultimately mine) will be the joyful recipients of these taste sensations.

I Love You. Love Mom

*Because I make some product recommendations in my blogs, I may get a small commission as an affiliate and or an Amazon affiliate. Anything I recommend I personally use. I want to make it easier to shop for items you may not have, need to replace-- or if you are a lover of all things kitchen like me, just want to add to your collection.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN PREP 

Choice 1- If you are planning on making Mom’s Jewish Chicken Soup.

  • 2 Rotisserie chickens (1 for chicken soup, 1 for this recipe if you want options for chicken salad and or Buffalo Chicken Salad)
  • Place both precooked rotisserie chickens with the meat and everything in large stock pot or crockpot large enough to hold both, make sure you remove any strings that have held them together.
  • Cover with water.
  • Place on low for an hour (or 3-4  if in crockpot)
  • When finished, drain the broth and put it aside for the soup.
  • Remove all of the meat off of the chickens, it will slide off.
  • Keep 1/2 of the meat for the soup and keep the other 1/2 for the chicken salad recipe below.

I am sort of an old school kitchen gadget girl. I don't like a lot of bells and whistles. On. Off. Done. I have had this particular very non fancy crock pot for as long as I have been cooking. Right along with a smaller one from my former Mother in law I love, but I can't find that one to add. This stainless is a great size for the double chickens or just one.



stainless stell oval shaped crock pot with a black dial to control temperature

HOW TO TURN THE INGREDIENTS INTO MAGIC

OPTION 1 

INGREDIENTS + DIRECTIONS FOR BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD

  • 1/3- 2/3 Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (you need to decide, you don’t want this too liquidy)
  • 4 finely sliced celery stalks
  • 2/3 cup or less of HELLMAN’S MAYONAISE (yes- it just has to be Hellman’s)
  • 1/2 red onion finally chopped (I chop the whole onion and save 1/2 for another recipe)
  • 1/2 of the meat of the left over chicken shredded or chopped.
  • handful of sliced red or green grapes. Sometimes I will add 1 cup of sliced red grapes to give it that sweet and hot vibe and it is really good too. 
  • If spicy isn't your thing, then scroll to end of recipe and see Alternative Chicken Salad.
  • Mix everything together.




I use a lot of this Franks Red Hot Sauce. I add it to my homemade salad dressing, hummus, Israeli Pesto, home fries, even soup sometimes! This is a great size for me. They make smaller too.



large gallon size of Franks

OPTION 2 

INGREDIENTS + DIRECTIONS FOR BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD

You will need a crock pot for this recipe

INGREDIENTS TO PREP CHICKEN

  • 4-8  boneless chicken breasts, not cutlets ( if you are going to make a Buffalo Chicken Dip, then make 6-8, if not make 4-6) You can also freeze the extra chicken to use later for a soup.
  • 1 cup of Franks’ Red Hot Sauce

DIRECTIONS TO PREP CHICKEN

  • Place in crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I do this overnight
    When finished, this will shred easily.
    Put 1/2 aside if you used 6-8
  • Chop or shred
  • Mix 1/2 cup or more Hellmans mayo with 1/2 cup or more of the broth from the chicken
  • Add back to chicken
  • Mix well

INGREDIENTS TO ADD:

  • 4-5  finely sliced celery stalks
  • 1/2 red onion finally chopped ( I chop the whole onion and save 1/2 for another recipe)
  • Mix well and enjoy.

I am always on the hunt for that perfect can't live without functional bowl. Measuring, lid, glass, a trifecta Kitchen Aid product. Love the utility of this.



glass measuring bowl with lid

EASY BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP RECIPE 

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350

Take chicken from either recipe you have left over If you used OPTION 1 then you need to add Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, if you used OPTION 2 then you don’t need to add additional amount- just use 3/4 cup or so of the left over broth. Not too liquidy, just enough to moisten well.


The cutest small dish for baking the buffalo chicken dip. I just ordered one because I can never have enough baking dishes with vintage pink swirly decorations! JOY.



small baking dish with pink decorative swirls on the outside


INGREDIENTS FOR BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP RECIPE

  • Chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1/2 Finely chopped red onion
  • 1 package of shredded cheddar (save 1/3 cup of cheese for topping)
  • 4 oz of softened cream cheese
  • 4 oz Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 bag Tator tots (If you want to make this super carb ladened and over the top, otherwise, leave out of recipe).


Yum to these Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, I always have these on hand too. They just add a little bite, not overpowering at all.



image of can of RO TEL fire roasted tomatoes

Alternative Chicken Salad Recipe

If spice isn’t your thing, then try this instead:

  • Reserved chicken meat, chopped or shredded
  • 4 finely sliced celery stalks
  • 2/3 cup or less of HELLMAN’S MAYONAISE (yes- it just has to be Hellman’s)
  • 1/2 red onion finally chopped ( I chop the whole onion and save 1/2 for another recipe)
  • 1 apple peeled (or not) chopped into small chunks
  • A handful of red or green grapes sliced
  • A splash of Red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix first 7 ingredients together (make sure this includes the Franks’ Red Hot Sauce) except for the tater tots AND Fire roasted tomatoes.
  • Layer 1/2 can fire toasted tomatoes in medium casserole dish
  • Top with tater tots
  • Add cheese mixture and spread over tater tots
  • Top with remaining fire roasted tomatoes
  • Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheddar.
  • Bake until fragrant and bubbly for about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve with tortilla chips, celery and or carrot sticks.
  • Chopped Avocado and Cilantro is a great accompaniment.