April 19, 2008|Comments (19)
The ever-so-amazing man of the house loves — that should be LOVES— casseroles and bacon. The combination of casserole and bacon is just enough to send him over the edge into pure Midwesterner bliss. Enter the hot chicken salad, the recipe for which should be in every woman’s weekend survival kit:
Hot Chicken Salad says, ” Here I am. Now what are your other two wishes?”
I confess that I am not usually a casserole sorta gal but this one had me at hello. It is incredibly easy to make so I’ll start with the basics. Make your mayonnaise by gathering the following ingredients:
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 4 to 5 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1-1/2 cups olive or other salad oil
- 4 teaspoons hot water
Beat the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor on medium speed until they become thick and pale yellow. Add the oil drop at a time and alternate with teaspoons of lemon juice and then hot water. Continue to blend. Add a steady stream of oil and lemon juice, blending well after (if not during) each addition. Cover and refrigerate.
Now begin to cook up four or five chicken tenderloins and three or four pieces of bacon (I used four slices of beef bacon because my husband is an addict). Don’t cook the chicken all the way. I like to leave it a little pink inside for the casserole. Don’t over do it on the bacon either:
Gather the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup crushed or slivered almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2/3 bread crumbs (homemade if you’ve got them)
- parmigiana cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and the bacon into bits. In a bowl, mix the chicken, bacon, almonds, celery, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cheese, and 1 cup of the mayonnaise* (that you just put in the fridge).
Grease a 13X9″ pan. Spread the mixture in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Throw some grated parmigiana cheese on for good measure.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Grate a little more parmigiano cheese over the top while it is still bubbling and sending off the most fabulous scent. Yankee Candle Company should contract this one for sure. Let me tell you, if I had known that casseroles could taste like this when I was a kid, I’d have been making them in my Easy-Bake Oven.
*You don’t have to make your own mayonnaise. I’m not gonna tell anyone if you cheat. But there really is a difference. Homemade mayonnaise is really just that good. You could also substitute plain yogurt for the mayonnaise.