Cooking Up A Hooley in the Kitchen: Mom’s Chicken Salad

Cooking Up A Hooley In The Kitchen
   By Katie Gagne

~~ Mom’s Chicken Salad   ~~

My mom made great chicken salad.It was simple and just tasted good. It was always refreshing; the perfect summer meal. This is just one of those foods that brings back childhood memories for me. Over the years, I have had many, many versions of really good chicken salad, but none quite hit the spot like the very basic and easy one my mom made.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cooked, cooled and chopped

5 stalks celery –  chopped

2 cups Miracle Whip

1/3 cup white granulated sugar

2 tablespoons garlic salt

2 tablespoons season salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

For this version, I tossed the chicken breasts with the garlic and season salts and vegetable oil and cooked them on the grill.

My mom always boiled her chicken back in the day. There are many ways to cook and season your chicken. For a quick, timesaving option – grab a cooked rotisserie chicken and use the delicious meat from that. Chill the chicken before mixing.

Mix the Miracle Whip (Yes, Mom used this instead of regular mayonnaise because she liked how smooth and sweet it is.), sugar and salt and pepper together.

In a large bowl, toss the chopped chicken and celery with the dressing mixture.

Serve on a bed of leaf lettuce or on your favorite bread or bun.

I’ve updated and adapted Mom’s version over the years adding such things as shredded asiago cheese, cherry or grape tomatoes, grapes, mandarin oranges, or slivered almond; even tossing in shredded iceberg lettuce.

This can also be served in a variety of ways: in a green salad, in lettuce cups, on crackers, on croissants, buns or other breads.

So how is this simple dish Irish?  Well, it in itself is not. It is just a simple salad to make as our weather warms and we are looking for something lighter and refreshing to eat.  

You can, if you are feeling that tug, serve it on your favorite Irish Brown Bread, or make Brown Bread Croutons and toss in the salad. I even saw it served between two slices of Irish Soda Bread.

*Katie Gagne teaches English at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights. She is also the owner of her in-home bakery Sassy’s Sweets and Oh So Much More. You can contact her at (440) 773-4459 or at [email protected].

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