Tag Archives: chicken salad

My favorite chicken salad sandwiches recipe (keto friendly) and fun chaos!

Ya’ll!!!! I cannot even believe it has been so long since I’ve written a blog post. I’m sure it has been crazy where you are and I’m no different. I could begin to catch you up if I tried. My kids are growing and doing well this school year. I’ll be honest and say with a freshman, an 8th grader, 6th grader and a 4th grader…the fun never ends!!! Lmao! It’s like a big party 24/7. The kind of party that sometimes you think you just as well burn the house down after it’s over than to try to repair the damage but a party none the less. Think Sixteen Candles with the pizza on the record player, Long Duck Dong falling out of the tree and you get the picture. 😂😂

Pretty much. This. Every morning 😂

That exactly. Every day of my life with teenagers and preteens. I tell people it’s like a game of whack a mole. I get one calmed down and another one pops up. But you know what? I’m going to say it keeps me young and I would not have it any other way. When you have 4 kids in less than 5 years, challenges are to be expected. Heck, my mama had 4 in ten years and there were challenges a plenty!! 4 girls!! Can you imagine?!

3 of my best blessings (Lisa, Me, Jenny, Claire….aka the Mayeux girls)

Challenges for Bernie and Steven sure but man these girls are my best friends. So I’m hoping that one day my kids can get as much joy from their siblings relationships as I do from mine.

Photo credit Soul Rebels Photography (check her out!!)

And it’s not always been an easy road. But it’s worth it. Which brings me to why you are likely here and not to here me go on and on about my sisters and my kids. Or maybe you’re here for both!! Also on my list of not always an easy road but worth it…keto. I fell off the wagon over the holidays. Yeah. I did. And that’s ok!! I actually jumped off screaming “weeee!!!” Lol! But the good thing is I realized how much better I feel when I eat mostly keto. My stomach troubles go away, less inflammation, less anxiety, just better in general. I ate keto for over a year so the blessing there is I know how worth it is to get back into it. So I’m getting back into it.

At the end of the day, it’s not about the numbers on the scale. What size jeans I wear. I mean those things are motivators, especially in the beginning. But doing this as a lifestyle, I’ve gained an appreciation for how it makes me feel. And that motivates me the most. Last year I learned I’m a better version of me when I go to Mass regularly and when I eat keto. But I’ve told y’all before I keep it simple. I do like trying recipes. And I might make the occasional fat head dough or make a nice low carb bread…but mostly I stick to my meat and low carb veggies. The first few days getting back into it are hard, but after that it’s all good mostly. Biggest piece of advice, stay hydrated and keep it simple!!! So in that same vein, I am sharing one of my favorite simple keto recipes. My favorite chicken salad. You can make a huge batch for the week and eat it by itself or over a bed of fresh spinach.

All the Mayeux grandkids…12 in all…for now…😉
Mama and her girls

My younger two kids adore it and will eat it in a sandwich. I made a batch for my family’s big Christmas shindig and it went fast!! Granted it was served on bread but it’s so good with or without bread! Momou used to throw a huge buffet style shin dig every Christmas Eve. Almost everyone would come. My Momee and some of mama’s family would even come. Second cousins in town for Christmas would come. Her Christmas Eve buffets were legendary (at least in Bluetown 🤷🏻‍♀️) and chicken salad sandwiches cut into triangles always made an appearance. I loved them. So this year for our Christmas Eve, my sisters and mama and I kind of recreated that same buffet style situation. Meatballs, dips, and yes…chicken salad sandwiches.

Claire and JP showing off our smorgasbord

This exact chicken salad. But with bread. So this is a versatile recipe. I never knew Momou’s exact recipe but this tastes pretty close. And a little side note…if you are looking at keto meal prep for the week, make some egg salad, deviled eggs, ham and cheese roll ups…the list of simple lunches is endless! You can so do this. I can so do this!!

Any how…on with my favorite chicken salad recipe!!

Cajun Mama’s Favorite Simple chicken salad! (And it’s keto friendly!!)

Stuff you need~

Servings-a serving or two for my lunches and then enough for 2 sandwiches for the kids so double as needed

3 chicken breasts, boiled and deboned

Plenty of mayo *

White pepper

Himalayan pink salt

*check labels and use the lowest carb one….I.e. the least or no sugar. You can make your own…I don’t, but if you are so inclined then by all means. I am ketoish. Meaning I use regular mayo and that’s good enough for me

What to do with the stuff~

If you have a food processor, then I would definitely go this route! I have a Pampered Chef one that I use when I am not making a huge batch and it works perfectly! I’m a Pampered Chef consultant and I got one in my start up kit and it’s awesome! I love the consistency that running the chicken breasts through the processor gives my chicken salad….but feel free to just chop your chicken up. Do you!!

Now the mayo…listen everyone is different. Some like their chicken salad more moist and some like their chicken salad on the dry side. I know I add at least 1/2 cup to three chicken breasts. So start out with less and add more as needed. Remember that the mayo is a needed fat in this situation and much needed to keep you full!! You do not want a bunch of protein with no fat. Use the mayo made with olive oil if that helps you. Now sprinkle in white pepper. It’s an acquired taste and has grown on me over the years. Another wonderful chicken salad recipe I posted a few years ago from one of my most favorite restaurants in Shreveport Fairfield Grocery chicken salad, uses white pepper and I have incorporated it into different recipes since then. I suggest you try it if you have not before. Then sprinkle In Himalayan pink salt to taste and you are set! It will stay good in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days…but it never lasts that long in my house!!! I’ll add pictures when I make some after while. It’s so delicious!

My daddy always finds a recliner to nap on during any family function. And he really sleeps!
Big Daddy and my sissies…💗💘
Reasons my daddy naps 😂 but we have fun!!
Seems so serene…but we are a wild bunch
This is so us.

A HUGE shout out to my ultra talented and precious friend, Natalie Parnell, and Soul Rebels Photography For these fantastic family photos. She manages to capture our family at its core….fun chaos while somehow showing the beauty in all the chaos. She is so talented and just a dear precious soul to work with. She manage to get some great shots in less than an hour. If she can do that for us…she can do it for your family! Check her out here!! Also look her up on Facebook! She truly is amazing.

That’s Nat (Soul Rebels Photography) and my Madame Toot!!
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Sonoma chicken salad and bad days happen…but they don’t last

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Circa December 2008…ages were 5, 3 1/2, barely 2, and 5 months 

Ya’ll see those sweet faces right there?  Oh, that is a picture full of precious isn’t it?  I never thought I would refer to those as the good ole days because in reality they were the days of feeling like I was running through the woods with my pants on fire, being beaten with reids only to slow down long enough to breastfeed a baby, but time has a way helping you forget the crazy and remember the sweetness.  Funny maybe, but so true.  They are really the crazy ole days if I am being honest.  Having 4 kids in under 5 years leaves a mama feeling blessed and a little dazed and confused.  So now we cut to a few years down the road and for the most part we rock along at a nice little pace that works for us.  The kids are all in school, the same school, all day and things usually seem a little less crazy most days.  I feel more in control as a mom most days.  Emphasis on the most here.  And yesterday did not fall under that most umbrella.  Frankly, none of the days this week fall under the most umbrella.  Yeah, it has been a rough week parenting wise.  Maybe it has been the cold weather and the kids not getting a recess at school, but ya’ll they get in the car fighting at 3 and it continues in some form or fashion until they go to bed.  I know.  It happens.  But I finally reached my breaking point yesterday.  I said some things I was not proud of.  I pitched a big ole donkey fit and needed a time out.  It was a doozie.  The sad thing is that yesterday was a great day.  The sun was shining and here is the part you will be interested in, I got the stuff to make the MOST delicious chicken salad.  The same Sonoma chicken salad recipe from Whole Foods.  I ran across it on Pinterest and since I am a sucker for any chicken salad…I had to make it.  So I came home and made some and did a happy dance and fell in love.  It was a lovely beautiful day.  Until we got home.  All heck broke loose.  And no chicken salad in the world could fix that business.  Now, as a blogger, as a friend, as a mom in general I am all about keeping it real.  I love to share the happy successes as a mom.  That is the easy stuff.  But I am more than willing to share my epic failures or my less than shining moments.  I am a big believer in sharing the not so lovely side of motherhood just as I am willing to share the not so lovely side to my shenanigans in the kitchen.  That cake (ok every cake) that comes out not like the picture.  And after I calmed down and I shared and allowed my friends on facebook to normalize my awful mommy moment for me…I remembered…bad moments don’t make bad mommies.  They don’t.  Bad cakes don’t make bad cooks.  So yeah…I have had epic failures as a mom.  And as a cook.  This Sonoma chicken salad was a solid win though.  It is one of the most delicious concoctions that I have ever put in my mouth.  So, today is a new day and that chicken salad is even tastier than it was yesterday.  Sweet, creamy, crunchy, delicious…all you could ever want.  So I am leaving the mistakes of yesterday where they belong and moving forward with this most fabulous chicken salad recipe and I am sharing it with you.  I am more than willing to share my mistakes (if one parent can read this and know they are not alone in her days of frustration as a parent then it is worth the share) , but I am oh so happy to report my successes.  This Sonoma chicken salad falls directly under my WIN umbrella.

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Win!!!

Sonoma Chicken Salad (adapted from http://www.SweetLittleBluebird.com and http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com)

Serves 6

Stuff you need:

For the dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s…always)

4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

5 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

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sweet, luscious, creamy dressing 

For the salad:

2 pounds chicken breasts, cooked (I used a rotisserie chicken deboned)

3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted (I made honey roasted pecans…I will tell you how below)

2 cups red seedless grapes

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

What to do with the stuff:

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be done up to 2 days ahead of time.

Debone  rotisserie chicken (or cook the chicken breasts until done and then shred)

Combine chicken, grapes, celery, pecan pieces in a medium size bowl.  Pour dressing over this and then stir to combine.  Serve over a bed of spring mix salad greens or between two pieces of bread (12 grain is my fave!!)

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look at those colors…oh mouth watering deliciousness 

To make the honey roasted pecans (Cajun Mama style, i.e. I didn’t google how to do this…I just did it.  lol!)~

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with foil.  Spread pieces or whole pecans all over the cookie sheet.  Drizzle honey over the pecan pieces.  Pop them in the oven until they are fragrant and slightly toasted or about 10 minutes.  Definitely worth the extra effort.

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Honey roasted yum

Fairfield Grocery Chicken salad and Blooming where you are planted

Blooming where you are planted.  That is easier said than done.  When I moved to Shreveport and got married after I graduated from my Master’s program, I got a job.  I met some wonderful ladies, many of whom I still treasure a close relationship with many years later.  It wasn’t hard to make friends because I went to work everyday and I had lots of adult conversation.  The real test of blooming where I was planted came after I had a few kids.  I was a new mom with a 10 month old and pregnant with baby number 2 and we lived in the country with very few houses anywhere near us.  A precious lady we called Mama Kate lived next door to us and she took me under her wing.  Her granddaughter in law and I had babies a few months apart and we became friends.  It was very nice and I look back on those times with so much fondness.  Still though, something was missing.  After baby number 2, now referred to as Kayla Ann, came along, my feelings of wanting something more (not instead mind you because that is not how I roll.  I don’t replace, I just add on) grew.  We bought our first house in Shreveport in the middle of a great little neighborhood.  I would push Ben and Kayla in the double stroller through that neighborhood several times a day.  I was lonely and longed for adult interaction.  I met a few ladies on the street and of course we ended up getting to know one another.  Days became weeks and weeks turned into months, time passed as it tends to do and I had baby number 3.  Aka Madame Toot aka Aubrey Dianne.  So now I was the woman with 3 kids, 3 and under.  I was tired.  I was overwhelmed.  I was still lonely.  Now a few posts ago, I told ya’ll about my precious baby sitters and their mom.  Those relationships are a product of me walking up and down our street, getting to know the neighbors.  Their grandmother lived on that street and she encouraged them to come down and offer to babysit.  For that, I will always be grateful.  That small gesture changed my life.  Well…after we had a good stride going and I felt like I was handling 3 babies…Madame Toot turned one and I had stopped nursing her and felt like I could leave her more.  So Big Daddy and I went out to dinner and had a few drinks.  Well…a few weeks later we found out that we were expecting baby number 4!  Wow!  My mind was blown.  Say what?  I was going to have 4 kids under 4?!  Holy cow?!  How would I do that?  I wasn’t prepared for such a feat, as happy as I was with the news.  But my sister Lisa would remind me, God does not called the equipped..he equips the called.  And he did.  So here comes baby number 4…my precious Lucas Mayeux.  My little caboose.  I was overjoyed.  I had my sitters and their mom and a few other friends…but now I was the mom with 4 kids.  4 and under.  I felt like a 2 headed circus freak everywhere I went.  I was, to say the least, overwhelmed.  My oldest started kindergarten at our wonderful gem of a neighborhood school and the girls were in MDO at a local church.  One day, in early December, things started to change.  I met a fellow circus freak named Alexis who I refer to as Lexie B…she had 4 kids too (she has 6 now ya’ll!)  And I got to know other moms with several kids and we banded together like a pack of circus freaks and started to have girls’ nights.  Collectively we had close to 30 kids.  This bonding with fellow mommies of a bunch of kids did something for me.  I felt my roots starting to get comfortable in the soil I was in.  Maybe just maybe, the transplant shock was wearing off and my roots were growing.  Again, time passed.  Because of my friends, my awesome mommy friends who understood me and helped me see the beauty and humor in all of the chaos and liked me just as I was, I felt less isolated.  I began to find my footing as a mommy of 4.  There was no shame…it was pretty dang great come to think of it.  I was made for this life.  It only got better from there.  Sometimes when we can’t see ourselves in an accurate light and when we see ourselves through the eyes of our friends who love us and cherish us…we catch a glimpse of how they see us.  It changes everything.  We start to reach out…we start to feel worthy of those friendships and give back.  That little flower that was weary and withered has blossomed into a lovely bloom…fitting in quite nicely in its own special way.  Now, today, all 4 of my kids go to that wonderful neighborhood school.  I am no longer the overwhelmed mom of one kindergartner and 3 little ones who has no time to join in and get involved.  I am no longer isolated.  In fact, some days I wish to be able to hide and be isolated.  Then I remember how I hated feeling invisible and I smile.  I have come full circle.  It puts in perspective and I am perfectly content to be just where I am.    The teachers, parents and staff at that school are family.  You know on how on the Cheers theme song it says “sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…and there always glad you came?”  That is how I feel when I am there.  And many other places in this town that once never felt like it could be home.  A place where I could hardly find my way around and felt so foreign.  Where I stood out like a sore thumb.  Somehow, some way, through some God given miracle…that has all changed.  And when I see another mom looking like she may feel like a foreigner…I am always happy to learn her name and bring her in.  Because I never want someone else to feel the way I used to if I can help it.

Now we come to the chicken salad…I was getting there all along.  Ya’ll know I like to talk.  Today as I was processing how I would give discuss this chicken salad in a way that you all would understand the significance, I was able to see how it all fit together.  Hence the above story.  So, in my son’s class, there was this precious little red headed girl.  Sweet as can be and would always give me a big hug when she saw me.  I had never met her mama…I had seen her around some but we had never met.  Well last year that all changed.  I met her.  She was a precious as her little girl and I knew we were meant to be friends.  Her family has a restaurant in Shreveport called Fairfield Grocery.  I never knew she had a connection with it, but I LOVE that restaurant.  I love their chicken salad.  I owned their cookbook.  This place is fantabulous ya’ll.  If you are not from here, don’t live here and come to visit…you need to eat there.  The blondies are to die for.  The grown up grilled cheese is ah-mazing.  The chicken and dumplings will make you want to cry they are so good.  It is wonderful.  The restaurant is so quaint and cozy and it has a very family like atmosphere.  The other day, I decided I needed to make up a batch of Fairfield Grocery chicken salad.  Big Daddy and 2 of my kiddos absolutely LOVE it.  I wondered as I made it…could I blog this recipe?  I needed permission as I would never just post a treasured recipe without permission.  So I called my precious friend and asked.  She gave me her blessing.  So I am sharing it here today.  The cookbook is awesome and you should order a copy if you love cookbooks full of delicious recipes.  It also gives some back history on a wonderful Shreveport establishment.  When you are in the area, you should definitely stop by.  It is off of Youree Drive in the Shoppes at Bellmead.  Here is a link to the Mr. Menu site which tells you a little about it and the menu http://mrmenu.biz/bossier-shreveport/menu/fairfield-grocery-market-cafe/.  Anyway, with the holidays coming up, this chicken salad is great to have around.  It makes a ton so it is really good to make if you will have a house full of hungry visitors.  You can eat it as a sandwich, with crackers or as Aubs like to do it…with a spoon.  It really is wonderful.  It is amazing how so many wonderful things can transpire in just a few great years.  Lifelong friends are made, kiddos grow up, life gets a lot busier but in many ways a tad easier, mommies find their footing (only to lose it again later…but let’s not get into that), and life moves right along.  There is beauty in that.  Friends become family and what once was unfamiliar becomes home.  New recipes that once seemed daunting become family favorites you could make with your eyes closed.  I am grateful for all of those things.  And I am so glad to be able to share this recipe with all of you.

  

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This picture does not do this chicken salad sandwich justice…me oh my. 

Fairfield Grocery chicken salad 

Ingredients

5 pounds of chicken breasts

1 cup celery

1/4 cup red bell peppers

1/2 cup water chesnuts

6 tablespoons purple onions

1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 1/2 teaspoon white pepper or to tsste

1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

1 quart mayonnaise, give or take some…they suggest Hellmann’s and I use that or Duke’s

Instructions

Cook and shred chicken.  I boil mine until no longer pink and then remove from water.  I then run them through the food processor. I think it gives it the same texture as Fairfield’s but you can shred with a fork.  Whatever works for you.  Dice the celery bell pepper, water chesnuts and purple onions.  Add this to the chicken in a big bowl.  Mix all ingredients with mayo until very moist.  I just add half the quart of mayo and stir.  I add more as necessary.  This time I used about 3/4 of a quart jar of mayo.  Season to taste.

Stop salivating and fix yourself a sandwich.  Make a few more and get ready for the ambush.  Send a container of this to a good friend to make their day.  When my friend Stacie had surgery, this is the only thing that she wanted to eat.  I was really glad that this recipe makes such a big batch then.  There is plenty to share.  When you are trying to bloom where you are planted, feeding the flowers around delicious food is a GREAT place to start.  Make this chicken salad and make good friends.  Circle of life my friends.

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Some beautiful friends of mine…part of my village…we are a tribe of mommies…Good heavens I love these girls.

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Me and my fellow circus freak…my precious Lexie B!  That girl made my blooming so much easier.  I love her to pieces. 

Southern Chicken salad

So apparently today is National Sandwich Day so the fact that I was already planning to post a recipe for the MOST DIVINE chicken salad under the sun is simply a coincidence.  A wonderful coincidence, but anyway…this chicken salad is heavenly.  I have made it twice in the past 4 days and both batches disappeared in less than 24 hours.  This stuff is magnificent.  Poor Big Daddy, yesterday he calls me after an appointment and says “I think I have my mind set on one of those chicken salad sandwiches”.  I had to say “babe sorry, there is no more”.  The disappoint in his voice was pitiful but he forged ahead and I promised him I would make more.  And I did.  And now it is all gone again.  So just in case I have any fellow chicken salad lovers out there, I figured I would make this hump day/National Sandwich Day an extra special one.  Ya’ll ready for this?  Yeah I figured.

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So pretty, don’t you think?

Southern Chicken Salad (adapted from Debbie Lawrence @ http://drmommyonline.com)

Serves 6

Prep time 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup Duke’s mayonaisse (she didn’t specify this…that is mine because its the best! But feel free to use whatever kind you want)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 1/2 cups diced, roasted, or boiled chicken

1 cup finely diced celery

1/3 cup chopped pecans (I added about 1 cup total because we really like them)

1/3 cup diced red grapes (again I put more…it makes it even better)

Directions

In a medium sized  bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice and kosher salt.  Add in the diced chicken and give it a good toss to let the mayo mixture coat the chicken.  Then fold in pecans, celery and grapes.  That’s it.  Your done.  I served mine on a bakery croissant with a leaf of romaine lettuce.  Perfection!!!

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You want one too, don’t you?