Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Making Chicken Salad is an Act of Love

The art of making great chicken salad begins by boiling (which also includes watching the pot to make sure it doesn't overflow), deboning the chicken, cutting up the chicken and mixing in the ingredients. From start to finish this is a 3 hour job for 3 or so cups of chicken salad.

So why the bother? Well, chicken salad is refreshing. It makes a lot. But most important, my husband really likes it.

I grew up watching my mom making chicken salad and chicken pastry for my dad. It was a time consuming process, but the end result was so scrumptious. We all reaped the benefits from his favorite meal. Now, I did not make pastry today to accompany the chicken salad, but I did refrigerate the bold, rich broth so that I could make it another day.

Why did my mom make a meal for my dad that took a half a day? From the time we sat at the table to the end of the meal (approx. 20-30 mins.) all her hard work was over. We were extremely satisfied (fully tummy), but her work was not done. There were the dishes and the clean up.

The answer centers around one word,

My dad would anticipate the meal all day, sometimes days prior. He would come in the kitchen and watch over the process. What we called, "watching the pot." As I watched my dad sit down and take his first bite, a smile would form in the corners of his mouth.

I loved watching the whole, chicken pastry-ckicken salad day as a child. My mom taught me a more valuable lesson than how to make this meal. She taught me that giving is much more rewarding than getting. You see, as much as my dad enjoyed the meal, my mom was rewarded in other than tangible ways. She gave, therefore she was blessed.

You know the saying.."do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"....
Well, let's take it a step further.... Do unto God. (period) This was my mother's mantra. She does for my dad, for her church, for me.... because God is first and foremost in her daily walk.

As I was walking up and down the grocery store isles, I was trying to figure out what to fix for my family to eat. And then it hit me, "Chicken Salad"  I hope that as I grow in servitude to Christ, I think of others more than myself, as unto God, not man. The recipe is simple, the process is long, but the blessings are in the doing.

Here is the recipe for "Great Chicken Salad by Nana"

From the grocery store, select a large chicken
Wash the chicken, inside and out (that is important....there is another story about leaning in the insides to come later....LOL)
Put the chicken in the pot and cover with water 3 or so inches above the chicken
Add salt and celery (large cut-up chunks) to the pot
Boil......................for a very long time.
( I can tell it is ready when the legs pull away from the chicken with a fork.)
Watch the pot (make sure it is not boiling over......fire-prevention mode)
Remove chicken from the pot when it is done
Let the chicken cool
When the chicken is cool, tear all the meat away from the bone and cut up into dice size pieces.
Add Mayonaise, salt (to taste) and Sweet Pickles (I use homemade from my Granny's recipe)
Optional: Add fresh celery, cut into small pieces

After the rich broth is cooled, pour into a pitcher and store in refrigerator for later use (Chicken Pastry) or Dumplings if you are from the south!


  1. Robyn . . .I really, really love that "do unto God". Wow. That gets right to the whole point, without getting distracted by what may happen along the way or how long it takes. :) God bless you and your servant's heart! deb

  2. I have to DO unto God, because I can't do it alone.... :)


There was an error in this gadget