Welcome to week 2 of my new series... 52 uses for a Rotisserie Chicken! If you have been following along, you remember that this week has been a bit of an upheaval for us. We found out last Thursday that my Mother-in-Law was having surgery (in fact, I am in the hospital cafeteria as we speak) today. She lives about 500 mils away, so I am covering some recipes I made on Friday for my road trip. Central Kansas, Nebraska and parts of South Dakota are not really the prettiest traveling spots in the country. But I did have some of these sandwiches to keep me anxious.
First, the bread I blogged about yesterday, GirliChef's Artisan Hamburger Buns. I went into more detail yesterday, but these are a perfect bun for anything wet... Sloppy Joe's, or this chicken spread. the sandwichs were going to ride in a cooler for a few hours. Which meant a "normal" slice of bread would absorb the moisture and be soggy and nasty by the time I wanted to eat. Instead, the bread stayed firm, moist (but not too moist) and delicious so that I could enjoy this VERY unique chicken salad recipe...
Straight from Mom... Well, Pam's mom, via her blog, PAM's MIDWEST KITCHEN KORNER. Pam is wife to the love of her life, mother of two, Mother-in-law to one and a NEW GRANDMOTHER!!! Transplanted from Ohio to Kentucky to now settled in Chicago suburb (be careful, the Cubs will break your heart (I'm from Peoria, Il... I know).
She has a wonderful message on her "about me" section about the fulfillment of her life to cook for family and friends and center her life around the family table. Such an important message. I really believe the world changed when we all got our second TV's, bought houses with separate bedrooms for all the kids, and stopped eating family meals together.
But I digress...
This recipe came from Pam's mother. Very simple and light and perfect for summer (or long drives through Nebraska). It also struck my eye as a unique recipe for chicken salad. Defiantly not MY MAMA's chicken salad.
First, celery... lots and lots of celery. Well, a full cup anyway. But in Pam's words, "It may sound like a lot of celery---include it all; it won’t give the chicken spread a strong celery taste. Combining the celery with the nuts adds a little crunch to the spread with the flavors complementing the chicken perfectly".
This did sound like a lot to me, as I normally prefer no celery. But, I was intrigued by the other ingredients. Primarily Cream cheese (and less mayo), a touch of Curry, pecans and PICKLE JUICE! Hmmmm... OK, I was in!
I only made a couple of small changes. First, we have some terrific Candy Sweet Onions this year. These are just what they sound like, similar to the famous Vidalia Onion, just without the good press agent. SO, in place of her 1 TBS of grated onion, I diced up an entire small candy onion. I am sure I would not have used this much if I had a "standard" onion. But the sweet went well with this!
And despite her use of pickle juice, she did not use any pickles in her recipe. I like pickles in mine, so while I had the pickle jar out, I added 4 diced gherkins.
She also only uses 1/8 tsp Curry Powder. If I am going to try it, i am going to use a bit more. I do not have a delicate palate, tiny hints of flavors do not get me excited. So I upped this to 1/2 tsp. Figured that would be enough to give me an idea of the taste. If I liked it, i could always up it next time.
Pam's Mom's Recipe!
You can (and should) click on the photo to the left (That's Pam's photo she had posted on her original blog post of the recipe. Or click... Mom’s Chicken Spread). Pam is a wonderful blogger. Posts something 3-4 times a week. Always here faire is just what she advertises... Something suitable for a family, would make a wonderful dishes to share with friends. just really good down-home country food, with a little bit extra to her recipes.
Always top notch... Like this one...
Here's what I did...
I gnawed on the two chicken legs while I diced up all of the remaining rotisserie chicken. I like the Southwestern spiced one that they sell at Target.
1 8ounce package of Cream Cheese
2 TBS Mayonnaise
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1 small Candy Sweet Onion, Small dice
5 Gherkin Pickles, small dice
1 cup Celery, small dice
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
And mix. She did recommend using chicken broth to add moisture if needed. I was fine.
And this was MORE than fine. In the spirit of my series, this is a terrific use for a rotisserie chicken. We got well over a dozen sandwiches (making the total cost, including bread, pecans and the cream cheese) around $1 a sandwich. Now that's what I call a REAL bargain! Especially considering the cost of "road food".
I LOVED everything about the recipe. The cream cheese added an unexpected taste of creaminess to the spread. The pickle juice was there, the curry was just about right (again, I would probably up the amount even more. But be careful, curry is one of those things that not everyone appreciates in big amounts). The pecans were a delight and the celery was exactly what I expected... Could live without it, was fine with it and if you are feeding a family on a budget, is just fine as a filler.
You get the idea. From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking). More than enough ideas for that store nought bird to shine with just a little extra work
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