In our homes, chicken has always been a basic whenever we plan meals, do grocery shopping, or entertain! With that in mind, we will have a series here to share a variety of our special favorite chicken recipes for baking (whole or parts), for cooking chicken in crock pots, or for wonderful chicken casseroles. Over the years, we have gathered some truly delightfully different ways to cook chicken! Some are also featured in our family cookbook, The Tate Table. Most are easy to prepare, easy on the budget, and easy to increase or decrease the quantity being prepared. How can you beat three “easys” in a row?
The first one (below) is so flexible, so delicious, and always raved about by family and guests. If you are “watching your pennies” as many of us are, you will find this (and the accompanying hints) helpful to your budget as well! Further, we will include opportunities to consider when you spot rotisserie chickens on sale at your local market! Suggestions will also be offered regarding presentation of the dish and possible side dishes to enhance the plate and palate.
Betty’s Chicken Salad
-1 whole chicken (boiled or baked)
-sweet onion (diced small or grated)
-celery (diced small)
-green pepper (diced small)
-grapes (green seedless preferred, halved or sliced if large)
-mayonnaise (Duke’s, my preference)
-salt/or garlic salt
-black pepper-optional and different: Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
(If you have never used Cavender’s, start lightly, then add to suit your taste)
Mix your chosen ingredients, chill several hours, serve and enjoy!
The fabulous part of this recipe is that it is all “flexible.” I probably use one half chicken bites, and one half other veggies, adding grapes and nuts as extras. Use what you have and sample along the way. Whatever you (and/or your family) do not like, leave out. If there is something else you like, for example, sliced black olives, add them! There are no “perfect” directions for this. Use your own creativity and taste buds. The onion adds flavor, the celery, pepper and pecans add both crunch and flavor, and the grapes add a surprise touch of sweetness!
This is one example of using a rotisserie chicken that is wonderful. When they are on sale, I purchase at least one. It is, indeed, a delightfully different way to use chicken! I use some for a meal then strip the rest to freeze. Remove skin and bones, chop the meat into small bite size pieces, and freeze in 1 cup or 2 cup portions (mark and date the bag). I have done the same with leftover fried chicken, and included some of the flavored fried coating for a different approach. So when you need it, it is there, ready to mix together with the other ingredients you have on hand, expect a guest or two, or simply want a refreshing lunch or dinner.
Mix your chosen ingredients and refrigerate at least several hours. Serve on a bed of lettuce or scoop into a small wedged tomato on each plate. Decorate the plate with some slices of avocado, some asparagus,and/or fresh berries. Add crackers or a hot roll and butter, perhaps some cheese wedges and voila, you have an appetizing, delicious, and healthy meal on your luncheon plate. Top off the meal with a piece of chocolate pie or other small, special dessert.. Umm, maybe you should make an extra serving or two for the following day!