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.”
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.
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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