It’s pretty basic as far as a sandwich goes but it is a favorite for all the right reasons. A really good chicken salad has the perfect amount of mayonnaise so that it is not soupy, yet binds together. Mixing the chicken with the mayonnaise when it is still warm, allows the chicken to absorb some of the mayonnaise and stick together, a trick my mother, Val uses for her famously delicious potato salad, too. It needs to be flavorful but not overpowering. Curried Chicken Salad is great but when I need my fix, I prefer something easier on the palate, a taste that children and adults with more sensitive taste buds will enjoy, too. A little bit of lettuce for crunch and some soft white or wheat bread complete the experience and make it easy to pack in my cooler for a day at the beach.
Chicken Salad (makes 4 sandwiches) 2 large chicken breasts 2 teaspoons celery seed 1 rib celery cut into 4 pieces, plus 1 rib chopped fine 1/2 cup or more, Hellman's Mayonnaise salt pepper 8 slices sandwich bread lettuce (optional) Place chicken breasts in a sauce pan with about 1 inch of water. Sprinkle with celery seed and place 4 pieces of celery in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes until interior of chicken breasts is 165F. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and chop/shred into small pieces. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl and add chopped celery, mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Mix together and add more mayonnaise if needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Divide chicken salad among 4 slices of bread. Top with fresh lettuce and the remaining slices of bread. Cut each sandwich in 1/2 and serve. Refrigerate chicken salad for up to 3 days. Alternatively, serve over a tossed salad or eat out of the container while standing in the kitchen.