If there was an award for loving chicken salad, my mom would win hands’ down. She is always on the hunt for new varieties of chicken salad (have you tried my curried chicken salad yet mom?) and finding new spins on the classic recipe.
Better yet, my mom has lots of experience feeding chicken salad to a crowd…she’s done everything from a baked chicken salad (yum) to the chicken salad croissants for my bridesmaid luncheon the day before SPH and I were married (sentimental yum).
This past weekend I found myself back in my parents’ kitchen, making chicken salad for a couple dozen ladies who were coming to my cousin Jill’s baby shower. Ever the hostess, my mom had things pretty well prepped when I and the rest of the Sweet Pea Family arrived, but she had yet to make the chicken salad, so I was able to help!
This recipe is delicious and slightly sweet, a real crowd pleaser. We opted to place the toasted almond slices on the top of most sandwiches, but leave some nut-free. Serve the chicken salad over greens or in rolls or croissants.
Chicken Salad for a Crowd (serves 30, but can be easily halved, or cut into thirds)
12 cups of chicken, chopped
3 cups light mayonnaise
3 cups light sour cream
¾ cup honey mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper
6-7 medium gala apples, unpeeled and diced
6 cups dried cranberries
3 cups toasted almond slices (optional)
First, place the chicken in a very large bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, onion powder, celery salt and ground pepper, stirring well to full incorporate.
Mix the apples and cranberries in a separate bowl:
To toast the almonds (if using), place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure even browning:
Mix all the ingredients together and serve: