Mimi’s Chicken Salad

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Years ago, I visited a girlfriend in Texas to help with her daughter’s baby shower. She lives just outside of Austin, so it’s always fun to visit. (Think Texas Hill/Wine Country!)

One of the dishes planned for the shower luncheon was “Mimi’s Chicken Salad.” I had no idea what that was, but she told me that it was my recipe, thus the name!

Recently I was reflecting on my “namesake” chicken salad, but couldn’t remember what the heck was in it. I emailed my friend, and she sent me back a photograph of my recipe. In a cookbook.

The cookbook is “Cooking by the Bootstraps: A Taste of Oklahoma Heaven Cooked Up by the Junior Welfare League of Enid, Oklahoma, published in 2002.

So not only did I forget how to make my own chicken salad, I didn’t remember it was a recipe I created, nor did I remember that it is in this cookbook – which I own!

I’ll just chalk this up to (older) age.

Here’s the recipe, although somewhat adapted, because I can’t even leave my own recipes alone!

Mimi’s Chicken Salad, or Mango Chutney Chicken Salad

Chicken tenders, about 1.2 pounds
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pistachios
1/2 cup chopped mangoes
1/3 cup mango chutney
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder, I recommend Penzey’s sweet curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Grill the chicken tenders in a skillet, with a little oil, seasoned first with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken just till barely pink so as to keep them tender. Set them aside to cool slightly.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and stir until the chicken is well incorporated.

You can adjust the volume of sour cream and mayo mixture to suit your taste. I prefer chicken salad just creamy enough, but not drowning in the mayo.

Add the remaining ingredients together in a bowl and stir gently.

Add the mixture to the chicken and combine them well.

Refrigerate the chicken salad if not serving immediately. Serve chilled or at room temperature on a platter of lettuce leaves; I prefer this salad at room temperature.

Alternatively, make chicken salad sandwiches with sliced croissants or your favorite soft bread.

I actually prefer making roll-ups with tender butter lettuce instead of sandwiches.


What’s fun about this recipe is that you can mix up the nuts and add fruits – even dried fruits. Think about chopped macadamias and dried cherries!

I’m really appreciative of the local Junior Welfare League of Enid, Oklahoma for including some of my recipes in this cookbook. It was an honor.

Charmoula

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Arabic in origin, Charmoula is a wonderful and flavorful condiment for meat or vegetables. It’s slightly similar to Chimichurri, in that it combines garlic with parsley and cilantro. But that’s where the similarity ends.

I’ve never seen charmoula in a jar, but I’m sure it doesn’t taste as good as home-made in any case. This recipe takes minutes to make, so there’s really no excuse to try the real stuff.

There are probably many different recipes for charmoula, but this is the one I’ve seen the most, with cumin, garlic, cilantro and parsley as the major players.

I’ve used charmoula with my home-made Italian sausages, pictured above, with beef and with chicken; I’ve yet to try it with lamb, but I’m sure it would be equally delicious. Maybe next time.

Charmoula

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, I used black cumin seeds
1-2 cloves garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro, fairly well packed
1/2 cup chopped parsley, fairly well packed
2/3 cup olive oil

Toast the cumin seeds in a skillet. Or use your handy dandy seed toaster!
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To prevent losing the seeds when they begin popping as they toast, use a platter screen over your skillet.
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Place the toasted seeds in a small mortar and grind them up a little.
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Then add the garlic and grind until you’ve formed a paste.

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Place this paste in a medium-sized bowl. Add the lemon juice, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Then add the chopped cilantro and parsley.

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Stir well, then add the olive oil. If you prefer a thicker paste, don’t add as much olive oil; you can always add more later.

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To use the charmoula, I decided to take advantage of some Italian sausages I’d just made.
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I cooked the sausages first and then poured the cumin-flavored freshness over the top.

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Now that I think of it, charmoula would also be good over grilled haloumi and vegetables!!! Something else to try!

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