Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Recipe Friday. . .Grapes and Mayo

It's Free Recipe Friday and we're baaack!!!!
And before you say GRAPES and MAYO, whaaaat???
Stick around, your taste buds will be glad you did.
Even though it's not springtime just yet, we just had to throw in
one of our favorite family quick fix meals.
It's Chicken Salad!  But not just ANY chicken salad.
This is the very same chicken salad that we made at
The Tuttle House Tea Room.
(Raise your hand if you ever had lunch there!?!!???)
This recipe originally came from a Southern Living Cookbook...
probably circa 1983 or 84?!
Who knew that putting GRAPES into mayonnaise could be THIS delicious!

CAUTION:  If you are one that can only cook by measuring exact ingredients
and following precise instructions, then this my friend will be a stretch for you!
But it will be a good stretch indeed.

(we fed our family of 4 plus the newlyweds and a few servings leftover)

Grapes - we used a whole bag of red grapes - sliced in half
(yes, each one sliced in half - one by one -
monotonous I know, but it is a great job for your kids
to do with a butter knife that has a few serrated teeth on it!)

Celery - diced
we used appx a half of a 'bunch'

Chicken - cooked and chopped (we always boil ours)
we used a 3 lb. bag/boneless-skinless breasts
(you could certainly use a rotisserie chicken
or other chicken pieces-but you may need to adjust
the remainder of ingredients accordingly - 
you will definitely need less mayo with a rotisserie chicken)

Mayo - Miracle Whip
gasp - we used almost 2 cups here
you can use less if you will be eating it immediately -
the chicken tends to absorb some of that mayo/moisture
if made ahead or eaten as leftovers, thus the need for excessive mayo!
(and WE personally prefer Miracle Whip to Mayonnaise for this recipe)

Nuts - appx. 1 cup or your favorite - optional of course -
the original Southern Living Recipe called for cashews
(which I used in this batch)
but be forewarned, they should be added right before serving
as they tend to get a bit mushy after a day or two in the fridge.
At The Tuttle House Tea Room,
we used chopped pecans was magical!

You can certainly increase or decrease this recipe easily to your liking.
Only need chicken salad for one or two?
Chop up only the amount of chicken you will need - one or two pieces -
continue to add as many grapes and celery as you'd like.
We prefer a little less celery sometimes, 
so we only put in the amount of 'crunch' we want!
That's why this recipe isn't really measured - again, be flexible...
let loose in the kitchen and don't be scared!

Although back in 'The Tuttle House days' (as we call them),
we would serve this on a big yummy croissant with a nice piece of leaf lettuce
and a few potato chips on the side (or some homemade soup!).
These days we don't seem to bother with 'extra filler' like bread,
we just eat the chicken salad STRAIGHT - maybe a few crackers on the side.
Our whole family loves this chicken salad - even the kids!

Hope you are able to try this recipe really soon - you'll be so glad you did!
Have a great, warm, snugly weekend!!!

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