It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the week of Christmas!
The week coming up is exciting but can also be stress inducing. There is last minute shopping to do, meals to prep and prepare, and Christmas parties to attend. In the midst of all the preparation and celebration, one can easily become overwhelmed with everything to do, forgetting to take care of basic day to day needs. This Tale of Two Salads will hopefully provide you with two quick dishes that you can whip up today and have throughout the week as a snack or a quick meal so you can get back to checking everything off your personal naughty and nice list this season.
The reason I chose these two recipes is because they are SUPER quick to make and can either be a tasty lunch when you take a break from wrapping gifts or a late night snack after you’ve been up all night baking cakes or pies. I also chose these recipes because they both have a slight twist that transposes these classic dishes into a new delicious experience without any real additional work. Finally, it allows me to share the delicious recipes of two of my favorite home cooks I’ve already highlighted on this blog, my mother and family friend, Patty Wilkinson.
Let’s start with my Mama Nae’s Chicken Salad. The ingredient that my mom added to her chicken salad that I haven’t seen in other chicken salad recipes is tarragon. Tarragon is a species of perennial herb in the sunflower family and really compliments chicken, fish and egg dishes. It is highly aromatic and a little goes a long way. While this chicken salad is delicious as a sandwich, I really enjoy having it on a nice whole wheat cracker. It turns into quick finger food that I can enjoy when I just have 10 minutes before I need to jump to the next thing. Of the two recipes, this takes a bit longer to prepare because you have to cook the chicken. However, if you want a quick work around, you can always pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- Zesty Italian dressing
- 2 stalks of celery, minced
- 2 boiled eggs, chopped
- 3 teaspoons minced white onion
- ½ cup sweet pickle cubes
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mayo (add more if needed for desired consistency)
- Wash and put the breasts in a covered pyrex dish. Pour zesty Italian dressing over breasts. Turn to coat. Dot the breasts with butter. Bake chicken at 375º for 1 hr.
- While the chicken bakes, boil and chop the eggs, mince the white onion and celery, and gather remaining ingredients.
- Let chicken cool and wash dressing off.
- Slice and cube chicken breasts.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Taste and make adjustments to taste.
- Great as a sandwich, but also great atop a cracker.
- 2 cans of tuna in water (drain the water)
- 1/3 cup chopped white onion
- 3-5 chopped serrano chilies
- 2-3 tablespoons of mayo
- 3-4 tablespoons of green olives with pimentos, cut in half
- The juice of 1 large lime (use 2 limes if you can only find smaller ones)
- salt to taste
- Place everything in a bowl and mix.
- Taste and adjust salt and mayo as needed.