11 May 2009

Chicken Salad + Bliss

Co-host. Bridal Shower. Brunch. Lots of Ladies. Get the picture? What else is a girl to do, but plan the menu way in advance!?!

Here's the deal: My mom, sister and I co-hosted a bridal shower for our dear friend, Kyle (she's a girl). Kyle and Bill's wedding is on August 1st, 2009 and I couldn't be more excited for them.

I came across this chicken salad recipe on SmittenKitchen. I'm very picky when it comes to chicken salad, but this one looked so good that we gave it a try without a test-run. Low and behold, the recipe was a hit! This one in particular includes ingredients you'll find in traditional chicken salad recipes like mayo and celery, but it also includes things like walnuts and dried cranberries! YUM! Just trust me on this one. You'll add it to your recipe repertoire too.

I tripled the recipe for our party and here is a picture of the leftovers:

We focused on serving dishes that could be made in advance. Some ideas: Caprese salad, sun-dried tomato and feta pasta salad, mom's deviled eggs, double-decker chocolate chip brownie bars, cappuccino oatmeal bars, and white chocolate-dipped pirouettes. Is your mouth watering? Perhaps I'll add some of those recipes in the near future.

Besides the fact that my sister served Prosecco with iced tea instead of Prosecco with a splash pomegranate juice... I think the shower was quite successful!

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
(Adapted from SmittenKitchen)
Serves 4 - 6

1 Rotisserie Chicken (large), cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 Cups)
1 C. Walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 C. Celery, diced
2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1 C. dried cranberries
2/3 C. Mayonnaise (*I used light Miracle Whip)
3 Tbsp. Tarragon Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Fresh Tarragon, finely chopped (or other fresh herb of your choice)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

Gently toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

We chose to serve this with croissants for the bridal shower. However, I think this would be simply lovely served on a bed of spring greens. Don't forget to pour yourself a glass of Pinot Grigio while enjoying your chicken salad because there is always thyme for wine!