Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad – Retro Recipe

 

hot-crunchy-chicken-salad-retro-recipe

Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad

Just like the ebb and flow of the ocean, food trends come and go over the years! Certain recipes rise to stardom for a time but then fall by the wayside, making way for newer recipes, often with more “sophisticated” ingredients, to move into the spotlight for their 15 minutes of fame! We all like to try a new recipe but that doesn’t mean that some of the older recipes don’t deserve a second look. One such recipe, in my opinion, is Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad. My friends always liked this dish, too!

Recipes for Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad may be found in many older southern cookbooks. The version I prefer is from Southern Living 1983 Annual Recipes Cookbook. I don’t really know if this recipe was popular in other parts of the country but it was well-liked in my neck of the woods!

This recipe for Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad is unique because the chicken salad is served hot, not cold as   chicken salad is traditionally served. Another unique feature of this recipe is the topping of crushed potato chips. (I don’t know of another recipe, off the top of my head, that uses potato chips in a baked casserole dish.)

I love crunchy foods and three ingredients contribute to the crunchiness of this recipe: almonds, celery and potato chips. The shredded Cheddar cheese layer just below the crushed potato chips adds even more flavor.

The Recipe

Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad
Serves 6
A unique chicken salad served hot. The crunchiness is provided by celery, almonds and a topping of crushed potato chips!
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  2. 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  3. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  4. 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  6. 1 cup mayonnaise
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  8. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  10. 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  11. 1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
Instructions
  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.
  2. Spoon chicken mixture into a lightly greased shallow 2-quart casserole; sprinkle with cheese, and top with crushed potato chips.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 25 minutes.
Notes
  1. I added 1 teaspoon celery seed to this recipe because I always add it to chicken salad.
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This recipe would be great served at brunch, lunch or at a light supper with just a salad or vegetable side. If you’d prefer a lighter version of Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad you could switch out the mayonnaise for some Greek yogurt. Be sure to make this dish your own by adding or changing any ingredients you choose! I added 1 teaspoon celery seed to this recipe because I always put it in regular chicken salad. Diced pimentos could also be added for an additional layer of flavor.

Tasty Tip: How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

The recipe for Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad includes 2 hard boiled eggs. I’d like to share the way I cook hard boiled eggs with you because this way the eggs come out great every time, without those dreaded green rings around the yolk!

First fill a pan about half full of water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the eggs to the boiling water and immediately turn the cooking temperature down to Low. Next cover the pan with a lid and set the timer for 20 minutes. As soon as the timer sounds, uncover the pan, pour the hot water off the eggs and cover the eggs with cold water. Start peeling the eggs as soon as possible, continuing to run cold water over them. If you prepared a large number of eggs it may be advantageous to add some ice to the cold water. Peel the eggs starting at the larger end which has an air pocket and the eggs will peel much easier.

In Conclusion

Retro recipes can be delightful and fun to make! I hope you enjoyed our trip to the past via Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad and perhaps learned how to make hard boiled eggs without green rings around the yolk!

What’s your favorite Retro Recipe?

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares

 

caramelized-vidalia-onion-squaresCaramelized Vidalia Onion Squares

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares are made with a quick bread batter that’s spiced with parsley or caraway seeds and topped with caramelized Vidalia onions and sour cream before baking. A great side with which to accompany meat, poultry, or seafood entrees, Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares are even great with cheeseburgers for a change from the traditional hamburger buns!

The Recipe

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares
Serves 6
A quick bread topped with caramelized onions and sour cream which makes a delicious side with meats, poultry and/or seafood.
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups sliced onions
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 cup butter (or vegetable shortening)
  8. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley OR 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 1/3 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cook the onions, covered in butter and olive oil until tender and lightly browned. Cool.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter (or shortening) until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  4. Add the parsley (or caraway seeds) and milk and stir until all the flour is moistened.
  5. Turn into a well-greased 8" square pan. Spread onions over the top and cover with sour cream.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot.
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How to Caramelize Onions 

Caramelized onions add so much flavor to any dish to which they are added such as pizza, sandwiches and hamburgers. I still remember the first time I ate caramelized onions on a hamburger as I was so impressed with the great flavor provided by them. After enjoying that burger so much I had to learn how to make caramelized onions myself!

The process of caramelizing onions isn’t difficult but it does take time and a little patience as it can take  30 minutes or more to caramelize onions. It’s interesting that it takes 2 cups of sliced onions to make enough caramelized onions for the Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares recipe because onions “cook down” into a lesser amount. They “sweat” and lose some of their water content while cooking.

To caramelize onions, add butter and olive oil to a skillet over medium low heat. Add some salt to your taste. Some people add a teaspoon of sugar to help the caramelization process but sugar is optional. Cover the pan for 15 to 20 minutes and allow the onions to sweat, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown. I don’t allow the onions to get any darker than golden brown because they will be in the oven for 20 minutes on top of the Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares. Caramelized onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to one month.

Vidalia Onions

The most praised and prized Southern onion is the Vidalia onion. Vidalia onions are mild, sweet and delicious – raw or cooked. The onions are named for the area in which they are grown, around Vidalia, Georgia. Due to the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which Vidalia onions are grown this variety is unusually sweet.

Over the years as the popularity of Vidalia onions continued to increase, local support soared also. Vidalia onions have their own annual festivals – one in Glennville, Georgia which started in 1977 and one in Vidalia, Georgia that began in 1978 – traditions that continue to this day! In 1990 Vidalia onions were named the official vegetable of the State of Georgia.

Another interesting fact is that the Piggly-Wiggly Supermarket chain was headquartered in Vidalia, Georgia. Piggly-Wiggly Supermarkets recognized the potential of the mild, sweet Vidalia onions and helped local farmers get their well-favored onions onto the supermarket shelves.

The popularity of Vidalia onions continues to grow. No longer just a “Southern thing” vidalias are available across the US and Canada today.

In conclusion, Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares could also be used at brunch or cut into smaller squares to be offered as appetizers. Stews, chili and soups may be enhanced with a serving of delicious, savory Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares. Make some caramelized onions and try this quick bread soon!

If you don’t have access to Vidalia Onions any other mild, sweet onion will work well in this recipe.

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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