Fare Exchange: Chicken salad from Town and Country, Neiman Marcus

Fare Exchange: Chicken salad from Town and Country, Neiman Marcus

September 4th, 2013 by Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

Good morning, dear readers. We have correspondents today on the topics of chicken salad and mayonnaise. Please send your absolute favorite chicken salad and your absolute easiest homemade mayonnaise.

And because there were so many requests last week, we will repeat them ... except for the ones answered below. The continuing requests are London broil cooked on a grill, club soda yeast biscuits, cabbage rolls wrapped in bread dough, salad wraps in lettuce leaves, and Fehn's Macaroon Pie.

On the subject of chicken salad, Kathleen Rice sampled this recipe years ago at the famed Neiman-Marcus restaurants in Texas; the recipe survives to sweeten her memories.

Neiman-Marcus Chicken Salad

1 pound cooked chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup halved purple grapes

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/2 cup whipped cream

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine chicken, mayonnaise, celery, grapes, almonds, parsley and salt in a bowl. Add whipped cream and pepper; fold to combine.

Here's the Town and Country Version of chicken salad, from a booklet of the restaurant's best recipes, shared with us by M. Collins. Note that dark meat is prescribed. In this white meat world, don't you wonder what happens to the rest of the chicken, when so many chicken breasts are on the menu? As in this recipe, there are seasoned cooks who prefer dark meat because it is more moist.

Chicken Salad from Town and Country Restaurant

1 pound dark chicken meat, cooked

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 ounces pimentos, chopped and drained

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup sweet pickle relish

2 eggs, hard-boiled, diced

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep refrigerated.

These days most of us send recipes electronically, so it was a surprise to get a fat envelope from LaFayette, Ga., and Linda Leake. She began by saying, "I have many fond memories of going to the Tick Tock, Wimberly Inn, Fehn's and Town and Country with my family. The food at all these places was delicious. I am enclosing a rice pudding recipe as good as Eidson's. It had good food, too."

As Leake recorded those names, I envisioned visits to each table by gracious proprietors. That still happens, for one, at Park Place Restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe, where Jack Goodlet masters the art.

Town and Country Red Snapper

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 pound red snapper

1/2 teaspoon Cavender's seasoning

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Pour melted butter over fish. Add seasonings, adjusting to your taste. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until done.

Rice Pudding as Good as Eidson's

1-1/3 cups water

1/2 cup Uncle Ben's original converted brand rice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup raisins, steamed in water and drained (optional)

Nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

Bring water to a boil. Stir in rice and salt. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 30 minutes.

Add milk and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.

Gradually stir in rice mixture, mixing well.

Pour into greased 1-½ quart casserole dish. If desired, stir in raisins and sprinkle nutmeg or cinnamon over top. Place casserole dish in pan containing about 1 inch hot water.

Bake, uncovered, in 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Tick Tock Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs

1 can pumpkin (2 cups)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1-1/2 cups evaporated milk or light cream

Pastry for a 9-inch pie

Whipped cream for garnishing

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat eggs slightly, then beat in pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and milk or cream. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes longer or until knife in center comes out clean.

Dot with whipped cream.

Last week's shopping requests were answered quickly, first by Melissa Miles who reported that, "Ricotta salata and other specialty cheeses, such as Taleggio, are in stock at Whole Foods Market on Manufacturers' Road."

Valerie Bowers reported that, "Fresh Market does stock Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste. I purchased it there last week. It is possible that your reader checked on it while it was out of stock for awhile. She can find ricotta salata at Earth Fare."

This week we took a pot roast to a friend who, thankfully, showed no signs after a recent scary medical event. Sometimes taking such a meal is more of a blessing to the cook, who feels helpless for her friend, than to the recipient. Not our friend. A very few minutes after getting home, we got an email titled "Sally loves pot roast," and there was the visual proof, a photo of our friend digging in, smile on her returning-to-health countenance. A fine idea, we thought, that photo.

Just a Dash ...

Laura Grody began by saying, "This may sound simple ... "And that is precisely what we all want and need. She continued that "when bone-in chicken goes on sale, I buy it in bulk, and prep it. I boil with salt and onions, then shred or cube it so I can freeze it in 2-cup portions. Then I have it on hand to make enchiladas, Pampered Chef chicken ring or to add in to pasta dishes. If I was really good, I'd save the stock for future use, too."

And now, Ms. G, please send the recipe for Pampered Chef Chicken Ring.