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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Chicken Salad

I came across a recipe for turkey noodle salad in a Taste of Home magazine years ago. It is the inspiration for this recipe. Notice I said inspiration. My husband once accused me of never making the same dish twice. He's pretty close to correct. I rarely follow a recipe, at least the way it's written. I make my own variations and substitutions all over the place based on my mood and what ingredients I have or don't have. Some of my best meals happened because I didn't quite have the right ingredients to make what I'd planned.

Please note that I absolutely loathe chicken and grape salad. You know, where someone put cooked chicken, grapes, and celery in a bowl and smothered it in mayonnaise. *shudder* This is NOT that recipe. There are NO GRAPES anywhere in the vicinity of this dish. (Oops, I lied. I have a bowl of grapes on the table next to the bowl of chicken salad. But the grapes are not IN the salad. That would be WRONG and NASTY. And I'm done using all caps, now that I've made my feelings known.)

So, without further digression, here's the recipe:

Chicken Salad

1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 T. milk
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash of soy sauce
6 c. cooked noodles, whatever shape you fancy
3 c. cooked chicken, cut up into small bits (use one of those deli chickens if you want or leftover fried chicken, just peel off the skin, or cook a couple of frozen chicken breasts)
1 c. chopped bell peppers (I used red, yellow, and green, just for color kicks)
3 green onions, sliced up small

Mix mayonnaise, milk, brown sugar, and soy sauce until everything is blended and the sauce is creamy. Add everything else. Toss to coat everything, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let everything blend.

Variations: Add any or all of the following:
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. sliced water chestnuts
1/4 c. chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 c. peeled chopped cucumber
1/4 c. thin sliced radishes
1/4 c. chopped olives

1/2 t. coarse ground black pepper
1 t. ground ginger

Siracha (Thai chili sauce) to taste