Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad
Dorcas Annette Walker

So far the month of May this year has acted like March with sudden weather changes. Last week I was outside in my garden tucking my six-inch green bean plants and tomatoes in straw to keep them from freezing during a sudden temperature plunge into the low thirties while this week here on the mountain the temperature is reaching nearly ninety degrees. I doubled checked my calendar the other day hanging beside my computer to make sure that this was indeed the month of May. Thankfully all my dear plants survived the frost. The month started out with all kinds of storms and lots of rain causing flooding in the low areas, but the hot humid weather this week has quickly dried out the ground until now all my plants could use a good shower. From what the weather forecasters are predicting rain is on the way. Despite the crazy weather pattern all the spring flowers have been gorgeous this year lasting until the next bunch starts blooming. Everything is green and growing here on the mountain. Right now my iris’ dazzle the eye with an array of colorful hues. While the plants are handling the heat my dogs act lethargic each finding a cool spot in the shade to flop their furry bodies down at. Even the chickens settle down in a dusty spot in their pen until the hottest part of the day is over.

When it is hot, I don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking or eating. So this week I made up some Chicken Salad and wrote the recipe down to pass along. My Chicken Salad makes a perfect lunch or a cold supper on a hot day. You can substitute turkey for the chicken, add grapes, nuts, olives, celery, chopped cucumber, boiled eggs, tomatoes, or even dried fruit. This Chicken Salad is a basic recipe that I start with and add or mix in other ingredients depending on my mood, what I have on hand, or what is growing in my garden at the time. Speaking of which, I can’t wait until I can begin picking fresh veggies from my garden this year. I’ve already started harvesting some of my herbs. Preparation time for my Chicken Salad is ten minutes and this recipe serves eight.

Chicken Salad

2 c chopped cooked chicken
1 tb dried onion or one small fresh onion minced
1 tb sweet pickle relish
salt and pepper
1½ c mayonnaise

In a small bowl mix together the chicken, onion, and pickle relish adding salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly. Chill the Chicken Salad and then serve in a sandwich, on a lettuce leaf, or in a cucumber cup!

Weekly tip: To make a cucumber cup take a long straight cucumber and cut into three pieces with a sharp knife. Cut off the two ends so that each cucumber piece stands up straight. Then cut a zigzag pattern along the top edge. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon leaving ¼ of an inch of cucumber at the bottom. Fill with a salad and serve!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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