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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"SOUTHERN-STYLE" CHICKEN SALAD IN OVERHEATED NEW ENGLAND

Summer has arrived with a vengeance.  Highs in the 90s with high humidity makes the heat index somewhere around 100.  While this is the norm for my home state of Louisiana and for a much longer stretch than we will experience it this week, it is a little harder to take in New England.  I'm a southern girl and I like my air "conditioned".  This year seems to be a little easier for me to take the heat.  I've been cold for quite some time and I know the days of this heat wave are numbered.  There are only going to be 2 in this particular stretch with temps falling into the more enjoyed 70s by the weekend.  Now that's a summer I can deal with.  While I'm sure this isn't the last of the heat for the summer, I'm determined to try to enjoy it this year.  It will be cold again before I know it and I will be wishing for the lazy warm days of summer as I'm watching it snow.  Thankfully the air at my work is conditioned so having to dress up won't be quite so uncomfortable. 

When the heat is on, heating up my kitchen or having the love of my life stand over the hot grill on the deck without cover is not appealing at all.   It's salad weather for sure.  I have been craving southern-style chicken salad and I've learned that my cravings should not be ignored.  It's been a challenge balancing my weight loss journey with those cravings.  Sometimes I've been successful and sometimes not so much.  I think I have a winner here.  At least, it was for me.


Every southern cook has their own ideas of what chicken salad should include and how it should taste.  I'm certainly no different.  I like mine without grapes or other fruit....without nuts....with mayo and a touch of (gasp!) Miracle Whip.   I like sweet pickle relish, boiled eggs, chopped onion and a touch of something spicy.  Sometimes that spicy something is finely chopped jalapenos; but more often than not, it's a touch of Sriracha and/or Cholula.  That's what I used today.

I was very careful with how I prepared this one since I wanted to be sure and count the Weight Watchers points for each serving.  I even went so far as to make two batches - one for David and one for me - so that I could more accurately count the points per serving.  Here are the measurements and ingredients for my lightened up version:

4 oz. Chicken Breast, skin removed
1/4 cup Vidalia Onion, chopped
1 large boiled egg + 1 egg white, grated
1 Tbsp. Miracle Whip
1 Tbsp. Lite Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Sweet Pickle Relish
1 Tbsp. Chobani 0% Plain Yogurt
Sriracha, Cholula, Salt and Pepper, to taste
Garnish with chopped fresh chives

Boil chicken breasts in salted water with bay leaves until done.  Cool and shred the chicken.  Grate egg and egg white into the bowl with the chicken.  Add diced onions and mix gently but thoroughly.  Add rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Enjoy!

For the entire amount, I came up with 10 points plus. That's not bad for the entire amount of chicken salad; but, it was way too much for me to eat at one sitting.  I hollowed out a tomato and stuffed it with half of the salad and enjoyed it with fresh romaine lettuce and my new processed food addiction - Special K Cracker Chips - which added an additional 3 pts.  Dinner came in at 8 points and I'm stuffed.  Since I wasn't greedy with dinner, I get to enjoy the other half of the salad for lunch tomorrow.  I will be looking forward to that.

So......I'm curious.

Do you like chicken salad? 

 If so, how do you make yours?

I'm always looking for new ideas.

Thanks so much for stopping by.   I hope you are staying cool wherever you are.



25 comments:

  1. I always noticed southern cooking is different from North. This chicken salad with your noms looks delicious.

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  2. It was brutal today wasn't it? I'm down in Connecticut, but summer came to New England with a vengeance didn't it? Definitely reminded me of my short stint as an Alabamian (?) oh well! we made lobster salad today. My daughter loves chicken salad, I usually make mine plain with just a little celery - I like the pickle relish idea though, thanks for the tip!

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  3. We're getting similar weather in NY. My a/c has been cranking! Your chicken salad looks delicious! I'd like it with the egg. I make mine with celery, pecans, MAYO, and craisins. Stay cool!

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  4. Oh I know those NH summers! Although coming from a country in which temperatures during summer can arrive up to 43 Celcius we do not have humidity and the atmosphere is very dry and this makes hotness bearable. The chicken salad indeed is the perfect choice for such hot days!

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  5. I need to get back on the weight loss bandwagon with some inspiration like this!

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  6. The humidity is terrible this year. Great recipe.

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  7. I can sympathize, trust me. Great thing about AZ, even though we might be at 113 degrees, there is low humidity - well, until monsoon season that is :)
    Love this chicken salad recipe... and your presentation is lovely!

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  8. We are with you on the heat rush. We are just now entering the long hot days in MO but we are in need of some rain. This salad looks fabulous so it might fit our summer heat bill as well. Hope all is well with your family. Have a great day!

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  9. Our typical triple digits arrived yesterday ~ ugh! :/ You know how I feel about this Texas heat. At least we're better than last year so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Well, I love grapes, apples, pecans and a bit of chopped jalapeno in my chicken salad! :-) It's a great dish for this time of year isn't it?

    xo
    Pat

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  10. you said it best- every southern cook has their own idea of chicken salad should be and this southern cook is very picky on her chicken salad but seriously candace this version looks delicious!

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  11. Wow - there's an awful lot of flavor in that salad for one that meets the criteria for something that comes in at only 8 WW points!!! Very impressive ... :)

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  12. it is so hot here too!!!! high 90's & 100's!! This looks great. I usually make my chicken with some dill and tomatoes and onions...sometimes peppers and onions italian style. Would love to try this! Hoping you have a wonderful 4th of July celebration!

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  13. That photo is gorgeous, Candace! And the recipe sounds delicious. I have just started using hot curry powder in chicken salad and love it. I wonder if it would be too much different for this recipe if I skipped the mayo altogether. I'm making a recipe for a family and they can't eat mayo. Could I just use more of the yogurt?

    by the way, I blogged about your grilled chicken with basil pesto fettucini again today! It's my all-time favorite dinner.

    Hope you had a good Fourth.

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  14. Hi sweet friend!

    Gosh, it's good to be back blogging again!

    I love salads too and lately I've been eating a lot of them....mostly chicken salad, shrimp salad and fruit salad, I vary my chicken salad according to what I have on hand, but I always start out with chicken, Hellman's mayo (no other kind with work for me!) and diced celery. I always have some type of nuts in mine, usually roasted pecans, but sometimes walnuts. I like fruit in mine too...grapes or craisins are my favorite. I like to add a lot of pepper too. Hmmmmm...now you've got thinking I need to lay out some chicken. LOL

    Hugs,
    Kat

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  15. It's been so hot here too! I'm anxiously awaiting cooler temps. Your salad looks delicious. I love the way you served it in the tomato! So clever!!!

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  16. yes yes i do ! and those look simple yum!!!

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  17. love the presentation :) i tend to add grapes/crains and pecans to my chicken salad...

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  18. I have never had chicken salad....Im embarrassed to say this. I need to.

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  19. That sounds wonderful. I've been on a hot curry chicken salad kick this summer. In fact, I had some for dinner tonight. I put walnuts and dried cherries in it. And speaking of weight watchers, I should look into that. So far the only thing that really works for me is to write down everything I eat. I have countless notebooks devoted to that over the years. My daughters laugh about all my little notebooks! lol

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  20. hi Candice! So nice to meet another Southerner! I hear ya about the heat;) I fell for the "oh, you don't need a.c. here" when we lived in Portland, Oregon when first married. I learned my lesson, so when we renovated the farmhouse central a.c. was a top priority!! And, trust me- it gets lots of use in the summer! Hope y'all are loving living here as much as we do; it is really a special place. I love to cook so look forward to sharing your recipes!
    all my best,
    joan

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  21. Hello Candace,

    Just stop by to say: Enjoy your summer!

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