We're doing a month of mostly Food and Wine recipes. It's proving to be a lot of fun. A couple of years ago one of the cooking magazines revamped their layout and to publicize it they did a cook the issue challenge. A dozen or more of us nationally actually cooked the whole issue. The toughest challenge was the croissants. I'm not a baker and don't really enjoy baking. But, the end result was worth every bit of hassle. There were a few recipes that we enjoyed so much we've made them again. And, there are others I'd like to make again but they've just not fit into the menu. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. So, when I was selected by Foodbuzz to post at least four recipes a week inspired by Food and Wine, I seriously considered cooking the issue. That was until I saw the table of contents and realized I'd never get more than 70 new recipes prepared in a month - particularly a month in which I have two business trips.
Sunday, when I checked the fridge for leftovers that needed to be used up the most critical was half a rotisserie chicken. My mind immediately went to Lana's chicken salad. But, I checked the Food and Wine table of contents just to make sure I wasn't missing anything spectacular with chicken meat. I wasn't. For as many years as I can remember, I've made chicken salad like Ernie and Sue Kobet's at the Illinois Street Food Emporium. They serve theirs in the most incredible croissants. The salad has chicken, mandarin oranges and celery. I usually add some crushed pineapple. It's fantastic stuff. Never say never but nuts in chicken salad are something that I've not usually used. But, way back when Lana posted her chicken salad recipe, I drooled over it. She added pecans. Not just pecans, but pecans that had been toasted in a little butter. Her husband, Bee Bop (don't you just love that name!!!) isn't a fan of fruit in chicken salad. She'd not put it in but did mention that you could add red grapes.
While I worked on Sunday dinner, Connie took the chicken over to the bar and picked it clean. He actually shredded the meat, which was perfect. I had the pecans toasting away in the butter until they were wonderfully fragrant. He cleaned and halved the grapes, then I put the whole thing together. It was so gosh-darn good that I added a little serving to each of our dinners. Then, Monday morning I didn't have my slice of happiness, I had chicken salad. We had it for lunch on Monday too. Wow, that was fantastic stuff!!! Thank you so much, Lana. If you all get an opportunity, hike on over to her blog where she's got a lot of other wonderful recipes: Never Enough Thyme.
Lana's Chicken Salad
1/2 rotisserie chicken
2 t butter
1 c red or green grapes, halved
1/2 finely diced celery
mayonnaise to taste
Melt the butter in a small skillet.
Add the pecans.
While the're getting wonderfully toasty and fragrant in the butter, shred the chicken and halve the grapes.
Toss everything together and add mayonnaise to taste.
adapted from Never Enough Thyme