GramCeesHouse Chicken Salad

I’ve been a fan of Boar’s Head deli meats for quite some time. However, the prices are getting a bit much and I’ll soon be moving to a location that doesn’t have a Boar’s Head deli. So …. I need to make my own chicken for quick meals instead of living off of deli meats. Even with the lower sodium varieties, deli meats are still pretty salty.  One of my favorites is Chicken Salad on Rye with a slice of Havarti. That’s an any time meal as far as I’m concerned. Here are the steps for make my Chicken Salad:

  • Step 1: Poach the chicken. I used two pounds of thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts for today’s recipe. Put the chicken into a large pot and fill it with enough water to cover the chicken. Put it on the stove on high heat. When it begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Step 2: While the chicken is cooking, chop your vegetables. I use Vidalia onions, carrots and green olives. Put them together into a large bowl. I usually prefer using celery for crunch vs the olives but I was out of celery. You can use any combination of vegetables, fruit or nuts and/or pasta as you prefer. TIP: Elbow macaroni works great. One of my favorite people prefer sweet pickles, green peppers and onions. Just take care not to overwhelm the chicken. I used about 1 cup of onions, half a cup of carrots and about 1/3 cup of olives.

    Vidalia onions, carrots and green olives

    Vidalia onions, carrots and green olives

    • Step 3: Chop the chicken. When the chicken is done, put it onto a chopping board and cut it into small pieces.
Poached Chicken Breast

Poached Chicken Breast

Cooked chopped Chicken Breast

Cooked chopped Chicken Breast

    • Step 4: Mix the veggies. You’ll notice that I haven’t used any seasonings to this point. Now I add seasonings and mayonnaise to the veggies and mix. Today I used about half a teaspoon each of salt, white pepper, garlic power and dill weed and about a cup of mayonnaise; adjust the amount to your liking.
Chicken salad ingredients

Chicken salad ingredients

    • Step 5: Mix in the chicken. Fold the chicken pieces into the veggie mix and you are done.
Chicken salad

Chicken salad

You’ll notice I used a large glass bowl that has a lid. Be sure to cover this and keep refrigerated. It will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. I don’t believe this would freeze well as the onions would become wilted.

Suggestions for serving:

  • By itself in a bowl
  • Atop a lettuce leaf in a bowl – adorn with chopped tomatoes
  • On rye toast with a slice of Havarti (oh yeah)
  • On crackers with some white Zinfandel wine

You can use this same method for tuna fish salad – just add some elbow macaroni for a full meal. I haven’t tried it with any other type of fish – if you do, let me know how it goes.


Crock Chicken Pot

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I’m a big crock pot fan. Making good use of a crock pot and a freezer can be a life saver for a working mom. There’s just something great about coming in the house after a busy day to the smell of something good cooking – especially in the winter (if you live in a cold climate you know what I mean). This recipe makes ten good size portions in a full crockpot.

Here are the steps I use to make what I call ‘Crock Chicken Pot’. TIP: You can also make this in a covered casserole dish in the oven if you want.

Step 1: Assemble your ingredients

  • Fresh Vegetables. I use Celery, Carrot and Onion
  • Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup. 3 regular size cans. I use Campbell’s Healthy request most of the time.
  • Seasonings. I use .5 teaspoon each white pepper, rosemary, sage and thyme. Adjust to taste.
  • Chicken. 3 – 4 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Thawed or Frozen.

Step 2: Cut the vegetables into inch thick pieces. veggie_bowl Set aside. TIP: Cut the veggies and mix the sauce the night before. Save the mixture in a zip lock bag. In the morning just dump it into the crockpot.

Step 3: Make the sauce.

  • Empty three cans of soup into the crockpot. You could also use Cream of Celery. Adjust the type of soup used according to your taste. TIP: Save money by buying the family size cans if they are available. soup
  • Add seasonings and stir. seasonings

Step 4: Assemble in the crockpot. The sauce is on the bottom, then add the veggies and finally the chicken. all_in_crock

Step 5: Cook. If you used frozen chicken, set the timer to 6 hours on high. If you used thawed chicken, you can set it to 4 hours on high. TIP: If this needs to cook the entire work day, set it to 8 hours on low for either frozen or thawed chicken. I bought the crockpot with the keep warm feature in case I don’t make it home in exactly 8 hours (who does?). crock_setting

Step 6: Serve. I usually make a big pot of rice to serve with this dish. You could use noodles also. TIP: You could make the rice/noodles the night before and just warm in the microwave to serve. I freeze leftover rice/noodles for future use with this recipe.

Leftovers! As this makes more than one meal, you can portion and freeze for lunches or even faster dinners. This cooks beautifully in the microwave at work. freezer_bowls For this recipe, I save about $80 for work lunches vs going out.