Not Rocket Science Chicken Salad

Not Rocket Science Chicken Salad

So, the problem with knowing talented people is that they will do cool things while you stay at home and wipe cottage cheese off the floor…  The floral studio that I used to work for has been doing incredible work lately.  I stalk their Facebook page with jealous eyes – while knowing my friends who still work there would give their eyeteeth to have a day off.

Hanging floral nests, people. NESTS.  I can’t imagine how terrible they were to make.

Oh, wait.  Yes, I can.  But I’m still jelly…  So cool.

Instead of making fancy things like hanging floral nests (like what?!) – I made chicken salad.  WARM chicken salad, mind you…  For some reason my husband doesn’t believe something is a meal unless it is served warm.  It’s based off of a recipe that my mother fixed for us at one point, but that I have twisted to our tastebuds.

For example: no celery allowed.  Ew.

That is actually the most amazing thing about this recipe.  It is very easily modified – hence the title: “Not Rocket Science Chicken Salad.”  Essentially, you mix up your favorite things; pop it into the oven to get toasty; and shove it into your face hole.

P.S.  I didn’t take photos of every step.  Sometimes the baby and the husband sitting at the table with pounding forks are far too distracting…  Please forgive my terrible food photography.  Someday I will learn it.  Kthxbai.

P.P.S. I love to use up leftover rotisserie chicken in this. O Yus.  Those magical little birds are so delicious and usually last us two meals as long as B isn’t HulkHungry (which happens, don’t get me wrong…)  Please feel free to cook up fresh chicken for this recipe, but there is something SO satisfying about using up leftovers, isn’t there?  This will feed 2-4 (depending on the appetite,) but again – it is easily adjusted to feed larger groups by simply upping everything.


INGREDIENTS
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 clove minced garlic
2 TB Ranch seasoning
Italian bread
olive oil
salt and pepper


Heat oven to 350°.

Now, this is going to get tricky. Mix your first seven ingredients together. Mix it real good.

Next, spread into a casserole dish.

Tear up your delicious Italian loaf into bite-sized bits. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and give it a good toss. Top the chicken mixture liberally with the bread. Eat the remainder of the loaf with reckless abandon.

Pop it all into the oven and cook until the bread is toasty and the edges are bubbly – approximately fifteen minutes.

I lied. It’s not tricky at all. Yes – it was just that easy. Sometimes an easy dinner is just what we need.

Possible additions/substitutions/options/MADNESS!:

  • trade the ranch and cheddar for buffalo sauce and blue cheese (mmm…)
  • exchange the onion, cheddar and ranch for tomato, parmesan, spinach and Italian seasoning
  • how about some mushrooms, swiss and bacon bits?
  • pop rocks, marshmallows, and Swedish fish (ok, not really…  but are you paying attention?)

mix

It’s just like the 90’s here on my blog, rainbow child – the possibilities are endless.  Since you are working with cooked chicken, you can easily taste test as you mix.  If it tastes good cold, then guess what?  It will probably taste even better when warm and topped with toasty bread.

Not Rocket Science Chicken Salad

So, while my friends and peers travel the world, create relevant art, own businesses, change lives, earn more degrees, evoke social change, feature in major publications…I made dinner.  It wasn’t rocket science.  But it was delicious, damn it…

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