Chicken salad is truly a Southern tradition and is a staple at many Southern events during the summer including weddings, showers and receptions. My Mother never made chicken salad and I think it was because my Daddy was a true meat and potatoes man. He would not eat anything that was mixed up together unless it was vegetable soup. I am very lucky to have a husband that will eat just about anything. As Mr. D is a diabetic, chicken salad is a better choice for him instead of a macaroni or potato salad.
One of my very favorite recipes is Ina Garten’s chicken salad v’eronique. It is in her cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home and one of my favorite ingredients in the salad is the tarragon. Many years ago there was a restaurant in our area that used tarragon in their potato salad and I always loved that flavor. This year I am lucky enough to be growing that herb in a pot in my back yard so I will definitely use it a lot. This recipe is great because you use only a few ingredients. The blend of flavors and the taste would make any Southerner proud.
I made chicken salad this week and as I was making it, I thought of the many different things you can include in chicken salad that enhances the flavor of it. Here are a few of the ingredients I include in my chicken salad and the amount used depends upon your personal taste.
- I always keep cooked chicken in my freezer. If I have some that is leftover, I will put it into a freezer bag and it will be ready in a moments notice for a casserole or salad. I also do this with a rotissere chicken.
- mayonnaise and I always use Duke’s mayonnaise It is truly a Southern tradition
- chopped sweet pickles or dill pickles
- Dijon mustard
- pecans or slivered almonds
- sour cream (I use a small amount of sour cream in my chicken, macaroni or potato salad)
- taragon (freshly chopped is the best)
- celery seed
If you prepare Ina’s recipe, I don’t think you will be disappointed in having a very delicious chicken salad. If you are adventurous you can use a combination of any of the ingredients I suggest and have a very tasty salad.
Please leave me a comment if you have a special ingredient you like to include in your summer salads. Thanks for stopping by.