When I was living in North Carolina, there was tea house that my girlfriends and I loved eating at. It was located in an old southern home filled with elaborate furniture; you drank out of antique tea cups and ate off of old china. Every room in the house had its own name and theme usually covered in some pattern of floral wallpaper, down the hall was the “powder room” that a lady could visit if needed. It was very southern and the food was to die for! They had a lovely chicken salad I used to love getting, it had cranberries and almonds and was absolutely divine. After I moved out and away from the south, I still had a hankering for that chicken salad so, I had to figure out how to make it myself at home. Turns out it wasn’t that hard, just a few easy ingredients but when those easy little ingredients came together it was deliciousness! Now, I get to enjoy that southern chicken salad any time I want even if I don’t have any antique china to eat it off, still tastes the same!
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper
The very best tip I can give you for this is to buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and chop it up. It adds an immense amount of flavour and because it’s so juicy you don’t need to use as much mayonnaise. Bonus!
Toast the almonds by placing them in a fry pan over high heat. Continually stir them so they don’t burn but you want to get them to a nice golden colour. When they are done, pour them onto a plate to cool.
In a bowl, add the chicken, cranberries, almonds, celery, and onion. Then add the mayonnaise and mix well until the mayo has evenly coated everything.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
The chicken salad will always taste better the longer it sits (inside the fridge, it is chicken and mayonnaise after all) so all the flavours can melt together. But, if you just can’t stand it go ahead and eat it freshly made. This makes for a quick and easy lunch to eat as a lettuce wrap, on a croissant, or even all on its own; and, if you are having a little lunch get together with friends, even better!
I absolutely love the crunch and nuttiness of the almonds mixed in with the sweet bursts of cranberries. It’s the perfect combination and the perfect chicken salad!