The Best Chicken Salad Recipe

 There are certain recipes we southern girls must know how to prepare:  grits, sweet tea, and chicken salad, among others. When we found out we would be moving from Atlanta to Syracuse, my University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!)  roommate gave me a going away gift to remember the South and all of its glorious food.

Everyone knows Paula Deen, but not too many people are familiar with her cousin who is also a great southern cook.  She even has her own cookbook, Cooking in the South with Johnnie Gabriel.”


Cooking in the South

My friend even had Johnnie write a little note to us about our move to the North.  Once we were settled in here in upstate New York, I studied  the beautiful book and decided to make the chicken salad.  It was very easy and so delicious. The first time I fed it to my northern friends was during a tailgate party at the Army/Navy game.  They almost licked the bowl.

Since it is now warm enough for picnics and light summer meals,  I wanted to share this recipe with you.  I have a feeling it might become one of your favorites.


Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad


4 cups chopped cooked roasted chicken

2 cups thinly sliced celery

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

2 Tablespoons minced onion

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

White pepper, to taste

1 cup red grapes, cut in half or 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a large bowl combine the chicken and celery.  In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, whipping cream, sweet pickle relish, minced onion, lemon juice, salt, and white pepper.  Toss the mayonnaise mixture with the chicken.  Cover and chill.  Add the grapes or almonds just before serving.



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  1. Beth says

    This is almost like my mother’s, but she uses pecans and white grapes. Everyone has their own style. Try mine and I will try yours.

  2. Jan Smith says

    Hmmm.. with whipping cream, it’s got to be the best…so I’m curious about the nutritional info? Would you have that in the cook book and if so, time to send it along?

    For us not raised in the South, I’m curious about how in the world you cook grits. I’ve had them one time when I was teaching at University of GA in Athens. Best I can say is that it must be an acquired taste.

    • says


      The book does not give any nutritional information. I think with the whipping cream and other things in the salad it is best not to know. 🙂 We will have to do a post about grits for you. My mom makes cheesy garlic grits that my Yankee husband even loves.

  3. josie says

    i made your chicken salad this weekend and it was delicious (your brother gives it two thumbs up!)! thanks for the recipe!