These recipes brought to you by PUPPIES & BRUNCH.
There are some foods that just scream summer to me, like Chicken Salad, Pimento Cheese, and Popsicles.
Growing up, my family always spent summer holidays at Lake Lanier in Georgia. How my mom dealt with 4 hungry kids (and our friends) is beyond me. But she is the definition of “Hostess With The Mostest” and always, always, always had the best snacks on hand. And like all good lake trips, it wasn’t complete without her famous Chicken Salad. There is nothing fancy about it ( if you’re looking for the high end grapes and walnuts version, you will not find it here). But it is so perfect in its simplicity. I kid you not, I think the reason I got my first boyfriend is because of my mom’s chicken salad. People were constantly asking for it, and as we got older and went away to college, we never left home without a MASSIVE container to take back to school with us.
Pimento cheese was also an integral part of every lake trip, but the recipe didn’t come from my mom (shocker, I know. If you haven’t noticed by now, I steal all of my mom’s recipes & put them on a pedestal). This pimento cheese recipe came from our crazy lake neighbor Jan. I say ‘crazy’ with the utmost respect here- as in crazy fun to be around. There is never a dull moment with Jan, she is one of the most vibrant people I have ever met. ‘Miss Jan’ is all things southern and sass. I would always know she had arrived by hearing her southern “Haaaaay!” carry down the dock. And without fail, she showed up with snacks, some wine and a plan to get into trouble.
And what would a hot summer meal be without a popsicle to cool you down? I figured with all of the mayonnaise going on there should be something healthy and refreshing too. #Balance
The chicken salad and pimento cheese and are both great with crackers or potato chips for snacking (we’ve always been a Cape Cod family), or fresh bakery bread for sandwiches. If you’re a pig like my brothers, you can mash the two sandwiches together (JK it’s actually amazing).
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bag of baby carrots
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 bunch of celery (reserve 2-3 stalks to put in the chicken salad)
- 2 ½ cups of mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the carrots, onion, and celery in a large pot of water and bring to a boil
- Add the chicken breasts and reduce to a simmer.
- Cover and let sit for 3-4 hours.
- Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks and place in a bowl
- Dice the remaining celery
- Add the celery and mayonnaise to the chicken and mix until combined
- Season to taste
This chicken salad gets better if you let it sit and soak up the mayonnaise. If the chicken is still warm, you may need to add more mayo to reach your desired consistency. Just eyeball it. I have faith in you. Plus the more mayo the better in my book…