Last year at a yard sale, I found the cookbook Market to Market that was created by the Service League of Catawba County, North Carolina. I remember when this book was published in 1983 and it was a must have for cooks in the county. I never purchased one then and was really excited when I discovered this one. As I browsed through it, I realized that maybe the reason I never bought it at the time was because it was not my style of cooking. If I was describing it by Food Network personalities, I would say this is an Ina Garten cookbook (without the detailed instructions) and not a Paula Deen cookbook.
However, as I was browsing the pages, this recipe caught my eye. Service League Turkey Salad that serves 12 to 16 people was an exciting find as I have attended the Service League Antique Fair in the fall and they would serve lunch. Lunch included this wonderful turkey salad and I always maveled at how it was made. I am sharing it with you today and if you are having a tea or a special occasion, this would be a great entree and you can make it ahead of time.
Service League Turkey Salad
10 cups cooked turkey, cut up (reserve 1/3 cup stock) I cut my turkey or chicken by hand into small cubes instead of using a food processor
4 cups celery, finely chopped
8 hard cooked eggs, grated
1/4 cup lemon juice
l tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 quart mayonnaise
Start with a quart of mayonnaise for each recipe. (If turkey is moist, all of this will not be needed.) To turkey, add celery, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and reserved stock. Mix in mayonnaise until it is a good spreading consistency.
In the past, a woman living in the South, was judged on just how good her homemade turkey or chicken salad happened to be. I have made it many different ways in the past and I will probably continue to experiment with my prepared chicken salad in the future.
As Ina Garten recommends, if you are making chicken salad, the best way to prepare the chicken is to roast it in the oven. She is right as it does have more flavor. For the above recipe, I would buy a turkey breast and roast it in the oven. When planning my weekly menus for this week, I decided to indulge in a rotissere chicken that has been precooked. We have that for a meal on grocery shopping day. I take the remaining chicken and put it into a container in the fridge and prepare chicken salad. We have chicken salad sandwiches with a side salad for another meal later in the week. If I do not have time to make the salad, I will freeze the remaining chicken and use it at a later time.
So does it mean I am Southern because I love homemade chicken salad, I certainly hope so.