Unbroken Memories, Families, and Mom’s Chicken Salad

Life in a House of Testosterone has partnered with Zaycon Fresh and Chicken Soup for the Soul for this posting. We were sent promotional item(s) as a thank you for our posting. All opinions stated are my own.

I lost my mother in 1992, and my stepfather in 2012. In 2010 a house fire destroyed the home that my mom, my stepfather, my brother and I built with our own two hands from the ground up. All of our family photo albums, all of our family heirlooms, memorabilia from the days when my grandparents’ farm was the most sought after for fresh produce, dairy, and poultry delivered right to your door – over 100 years of family history – gone in less than 45 minutes.

I have kept diaries since I was 10 years old. They were my way of keeping my memories safe. They were also destroyed. So you would think that I had nothing left to remember my departed family members. I have something that no fire, no individual person, can ever take from me. Those are the memories that I have kept safe all of these years, somehow, in the back of my mind.

It should be no surprise that 85% of these memories revolve around the holidays or around family dinners. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, our lives were simpler then. We had a Walkman (if we were lucky) or a cassette player that could record our favorite songs from the radio. We still listened to vinyl records on a record player. We had a home telephone, but if you weren’t there to answer it, the person just had to call you back later. My mother bought an Atari when my brother and I were in high school, but we were not allowed to play it unless it was a special occasion (Mom had a Pacman addiction).

[bctt tweet=”If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange. A circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct.” username=”KimAtLiah”]

I have most of my mother’s favorite recipes. What I do not have in my possession, my daughter has in her home. It is  the last bit of heritage of our family that we have to hold on to, and those recipes bring back wonderful memories of my mother teaching me to make an Impossible Pie and my turning to take it from the kitchen table to the oven behind me and forgetting that it was pure liquid. My Impossible Pie became an impossible mess that was splattered from one wall to the other in our tiny kitchen in our house trailer.

I have memories of coming home to the smell of cookies at Christmas. My mother would be making a batch of four to six different types while my nana was at the farmhouse next door making a batch of her special holiday cookies. My dad and brother and I ate cookies every day for almost three months and never grew tired of them.

So many more – holiday meals, making homemade doughnuts with my dad and sprinkling powdered sugar on them fresh out the deep fryer and having them just melt in your mouth. They are memories I will hold dear for the rest of my life.

I would like to think that I am giving my own children those same memories. Of times spent together in the kitchen, favorite meals, family gathered around the kitchen table, laughing and talking about our day with each other. I don’t get to do that as often now, as a mother, as I did when I was a child. Our lives are so busy, that it is almost impossible to have everyone at home to sit down for dinner together at the same time. So I try to make up for that by creating meals that everyone loves, that everyone will remember.

[bctt tweet=”If more of us valued food & cheer & song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. – J.R.R. Tolkien” username=”KimAtLiah”]

One of the foods that I create that brings (almost) all of my family to the table, is my mother’s Chicken Salad recipe. I have had to adapt it slightly to suit specific tastes within my own family, but it is a meal that we all love, with the exception of my youngest son. He abhors mayonnaise and you just cannot make a good chicken salad without the mayo!

I have been extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work with Zaycon Foods and Chicken Soup for the Soul this year. They have joined forces and partnered together to make it easier for you to get fresh, wholesome food outside of the traditional retail channels.

[bctt tweet=”Bring home food that warms your heart and nourishes your soul. -Chicken Soup for the Soul” username=”KimAtLiah”]

If your family is like mine, chicken anything is a comfort food and a reminder of home. I will be telling you more about Zaycon Foods and Chicken Soup for the Soul over the next few weeks. For now, I am sharing my mom’s chicken salad recipe with you for you to make some lasting memories with your own family.

Mom’s Chicken Salad

Calories: 412kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-3 boneless chicken breasts fully cooked and seasoned to your liking
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large tomato diced small
  • 1 bunch of scallions green onions – approximately 5 to 8 thin ones
  • Miracle Whip mayonnaise
  • French’s Yellow Mustard or Spicy Mustard
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs peeled (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper if you like a kick
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Pull apart your fully cooked boneless chicken breasts. You can chop fine in a food processor, or use a knife and cut up very small. Add it to a large mixing bowl.
  • Wash your lettuce and remove a single outer layer of leaves and discard. Peel the remaining leaves off the head of lettuce and set aside.
  • Dice small your tomatoes and set aside.
  • Chop into small sections your scallions and set aside. (If you do not have family members that object to onions, you can add them to the mixing bowl)
  • Finely chop your hard-boiled eggs and add to the mixing bowl.
  • Add approximately 1 teaspoon of mustard to the mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the mixing bowl (you can substitute with your favorite hot sauce – just a few dashes is all you need!)
  • Add mayonnaise about three tablespoons at a time and mix well. Add a tablespoon at a time after that until to the desired consistency. You want it to be moist so it will hold together, but not so moist that it becomes watery when refrigerated.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

    Preparation:

    • Place the chicken salad mixture in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes or in the freezer for about 20 minutes (if you wish to serve chilled) or you can serve right away.

     

      To Serve:

      • Place a lettuce leaf on plate
      • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the chicken salad and place in the middle of the lettuce leaf
      • Garnish with diced tomatoes and onions
      • Serve with warm buttered dinner rolls

      I hope that your family enjoys my mother’s recipe as much as mine does! You can keep this large batch of chicken salad in the refrigerator for several days in a covered, tightly sealed container. It makes a delicious afternoon snack on Ritz crackers, on toast triangles, even on celery sticks!

      Share with us some of your favorite chicken salad recipes or dishes that always remind you of home in the comments below!

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      11 Comments

      1. Oooh Thanks So Much for Sharing this Delicious Chicken Salad Recipe, Homemade Chicken Salad is My Favorite Food! I Know There are a Ton of Different Ways to Make Chicken Salad but I Love to Have a Ton of Good Recipes in My Arsenal! One of My Faves is Chicken Salad with Pecans & Grapes on a Toasted Croissant! Well Thanks Again for Sharing, Have a Blessed Day! – Jana

        • Oooh that sounds good Jana with the pecans and grapes! I have to have crackers or some type of crusty bread or toasted bread to eat chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad – any of that lol!

      2. Thanks for sharing a yummy recipe that I hope to make and share with my family soon!

      3. I know what I'm fixing tomorrow! We love chicken salad and I seldom fix it…love this recipe…never used green onions…but going to try…I always chip up apples or grapes in ours. Thanks for sharing!

      4. This recipe looked so good, I am due to make this this coming week for a lunch party. I thank you for the share.

      5. It is funny but I hate tuna, however growing up when my mom would make it I loved it, and even today if a friend makes it, and i don’t no it is tuna I like it, If i make it i use chicken. Thanks for sharing.

        • LOL @disqus_S0WzOcrdyI:disqus – my kids are like that. If I don’t tell them what’s in something they’ll eat it. But if they go digging and see something they don’t like – that’s it. I’ve lost them lol!

      6. On the rare occasions that my father wouldn’t be home for dinner, my mother would make a wonderful tuna casserole. (my father hated it – but my sister and I loved it).
        slehan at juno dot com

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