Chicken Salad

The real secret to making a good chicken salad is in the cooking of the meat. There are four things to remember: (1) start your stock with cold water (2) use seasonings in your stock (3) do not overcook the chicken and (4) let the chicken cool down in the stock. This last point keeps the chicken moist. You'll need:

1 1/2 lb.                  chicken pieces, not frozen
2 stalks                   celery, chopped
2 ea.                      carrots, chopped
1 ea.                      onion, chopped
pinch                      thyme
1 ea.                      bay leaf 
to taste                   salt and white pepper
1 cup                      celery, diced
2 TB                       chopped onion
1 cup                      mayonnaise
1/2 tsp                    lemon juice
dash                       tabasco sauce
1 TB                       sour cream

Start with cold water in your cooking pot. When you are chopping up the carrots, celery and onions, don't throw away the ends...throw them in the pot, too. Add your thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the water and let simmer, not boil, for about 45 minutes.

After the chicken has cooked, shut off the heat and let it cool down in the broth. Taking them out and leaving them on the counter for an hour will dry the chicken out. This same principle applies to any meat you are boiling, whether it is corned beef or anything.

When the broth has cooled enough for you to handle, take the chicken out and remove skins and bones and discard. You now have a stock that will make an excellent soup, too! Don't throw that away.

Chop up your meat. Combine it with your remaining ingredients. The tabasco sauce adds some zing. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.