Damned Good Chicken Salad

Today my friend Melinda and I hosted a shower for our friend Davida’s daughter Andi. 

Melinda moved from Grosse Pointe to Chicago this
winter and she arrived on Wednesday to get ready for the shower.  It’s been lots of fun having her stay here and planning and purchasing for the shower.

For party favors we bought little vases and filled them with a variety of flowers.  Until it was time to give them to the guests as they departed we put them around the house in various spots and put most of them on the stairs where they looked very cute!

Melinda, Davida and I have been exchanging “the ugly vase” for about five years now.  Davida was the first owner of the vase, she got it at the dollar gift exchange at our work holiday party.  And we have been exchanging it ever since.  If you host a party; are recovering from surgery; move to a new city; etc., you are likely to receive the ugly vase.  I last took it to Melinda in Chicago last month and she brought it back with her this week.  And we of course didn’t want the bride to be the only recipient of gifts today.  We had a special gift for the Mother of the Bride.

We were hoping for a pretty summer day that wasn’t too hot.  No luck on the not too hot part, it was a steamy summer day.  We had tables
and chairs set up under tents outside. We stayed inside until it was time to eat and then gave everyone the option of finding a seat indoors or heading outside.  Most headed outside and then we opted to have the gift opening outside too but about halfway through the gift unwrapping, we
called everyone back inside, it was just too hot under the awning.  I think the tents in the yard weren’t quite as hot as the awning, it was really too hot there.

Our menu was pretty simple. We made a great chicken salad and served it on a bed of greens. We used some kale, some mustard greens and some collard greens.  I had an abundance of greens, I picked up my food share basket on Thursday and received my shipment from Door to Door Organics Friday morning and thought I wouldn’t have a chance to use so we used them up and they worked really great, I think they looked nicer than lettuce, I
think I’ll always use greens in the future.

We served the chicken salad with a bit of fruit and a roll.  For dessert we ordered cupcakes from Bambu, a local restaurant and they were beautiful and tasted every bit as good as they looked.   For drinks we had iced tea, iced tea/lemonaid or white wine with giant ice cube.  We made ice cubes in 6 oz dixie cups and added chopped fruit to the cups, then filled the cups with water and froze them.  Once frozen, we peeled away the papercups and stored them a plastic bag in the freezer until we were ready for them.

The chicken salad recipe serves about 35.  We assembled it the day before and it tasted great when we made it, but was even better the next day, so don’t be afraid make this ahead.  We just made this recipe up as we went and it is so good, Melinda named it, “Damned good chicken

Chicken salad

15 pounds of chicken, poached and diced

4 cups celery, diced

3 cups dried cherries

1 bunch green onions, diced

1 bunch dill, large stems removed, finely chopped

1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

4 cups mayonnaise

2 cups sour cream

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon pepper

Almonds to garnish, about 3 or 4 per plate

After cooking chicken, allow to cool before dicing.  Add chicken, green onions, cherries, celery, dill and parsley to a very large bowl or divide ingredients in half and work with two bowls (it makes the mixing easier).

In a separate bowl, mix mayo, sour cream and salt and pepper. Add mayo mixture to dry ingredients and mix and mix until evenly coated
with mayo and all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Here’s some pictures from today and a final thought, you should always eat cupcakes that match your outfit!

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