Serve this hot chicken salad on a bed of greens with a side of seasonal fruit for a special lunch or a light dinner. Tender chicken is baked with chopped celery, slivered almonds, and sliced mushrooms, all in a tangy sauce of mayonnaise and lemon juice, topped with browned, crunchy potato chips. It’s easy to make, yet it tastes like something special and delicious.
The recipe for this simple, yet elegant salad is from my grandmother: a charming, elegant lady who had a beautiful life, yet faced many challenges and struggles with a sense of grace that I can only hope to someday cultivate. According to my mother, my grandma often served this hot chicken salad at the bridal showers she hosted. My mother’s extended family is very large, and grandma liked to have parties, so she had a great many bridal showers at her house over the years. I can remember eating this lovely chicken salad at her house as a young girl, sitting at a table with my cousins and giggling.
I had some extra cooked chicken that needed to be used the other day, and suddenly remembered this salad. I’m so glad I made it, because not only does it taste delicious, it also gives me a chance to write a bit about my grandmother, and to share it here on the blog. This recipe is a classic that does not go out of style (at least in my opinion!)
Today is special for another reason. Today is my father’s birthday. I started this blog a couple months short of two years ago, soon after my father passed away. I had been wanting to start a blog for awhile, so I finally did, in part to honor the memory of him. He and I shared a passion for good food, photography, and writing. By focusing on these things, I felt (and still feel) a connection with him. I know he would enjoy it, and I also want to do justice to his camera that he gave to me when he knew his physical health was in question. I treasure that camera, and my memories of him.
The sun is shining today, finally! It is so good to see bright sunshine–it seems we do not see enough of it here in Michigan in the winter time. I have noticed that the days are getting longer, with mornings and evenings becoming gradually brighter. We had a beautiful sunrise this morning, with the frost on the tree branches sparkling like jewels.
Hot Chicken Salad
- 2 cups of cooked chicken
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 cups of celery, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of onion, finely sliced or grated
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 and 1/4 cup of crumbled potato chips
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash, chop, and slice the vegetables. Shred the cooked chicken if it is not already shredded. Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer the mixture to a large casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the mixture with the shredded cheese and crumbled potato chips. Bake in your 450-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or till chips are golden, cheese is melted, and the mixture is hot. Place each serving on a bed of greens with seasonal fruit. Enjoy!