Among the list of foods I knew how to make when I left for college were boxed macaroni and cheese, chicken breasts baked in (highly processed store bought) Italian dressing, canned crescent rolls, and chicken salad. Let me tell you what – my cooking skills at the time were nothing to brag about. I have no idea why I didn’t show more interest in learning how to cook or why my parents didn’t put me to work more, but, as a child, unless I was eating I (surprisingly) spent very little time in our kitchen.
My cooking abilities have changed quite a bit since then (thankfully), but it’s hard to beat the nostalgia of familiar things from the old days. So I was a little caught off guard at the grocery store when I stumbled upon an organic version of the staple ingredient of my childhood chicken salad – canned chicken! I didn’t know you could buy organic canned chicken now! So I just had to buy a few cans and try to recreate what I remembered. Granted, the recipe includes store bought mayonnaise, which is technically a rule breaker that we do indulge in on occasion, but that’s how it’s done.
Funny enough, not long after I bought those cans of chicken, our Advertising Manager, Kiran, asked how I would feel about working with Valley Fresh – the maker of organic canned chicken I had literally just purchased! I was like, “Are you spying on me or something?” There’s nothing better than working with sponsors whose products I use and love regardless, so it was obviously a perfect fit.
Making everything from scratch, including cooking all your own chicken, is a wonderful goal, but sometimes life simply gets in the way and the convenience of already cooked chicken can make all the difference. And when it’s certified USDA organic with simple ingredients that don’t include antibiotics or anything artificial, there’s nothing to be guilty of whatsoever. My family gobbled up this chicken salad and asked for more, and the best part was how it took me no time at all to pull it together. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
As I mentioned in the recipe, this chicken salad is simply fabulous over the Fried Green Tomatoes I posted last week!